Heads to Conference
On July 23, the Senate overwhelmingly passed (86-140
) the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021
(NDAA). On July 21, the House of Representatives passed (295-125
) its version of the FY 2021 NDAA
. Both Chambers passed the defense bills with veto-proof majorities. The House and Senate will go to conference and reconcile these bills for a final NDAA. Congressional leadership expect the defense bill to be enacted into law this year, which would mark the 60th year in a row.
On July 15, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed the AGC-backed Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (H.R. 7575), which would authorize investment in more than 30 new Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works construction projects throughout the nation. AGC applauded the bipartisan efforts to develop the bill and highlighted provisions that it supports. H.R. 7575 will be considered on the House floor later this week. In May, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA), S. 3591. The bill has yet to be considered by the full Senate. The House T&I Committee leaders signaled optimism that an agreement could be reached between the House and Senate’s bills later this year.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 837-5368.
Provides $9.5 Billion for Transportation and Building Infrastructure Improvements
On July 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the AGC-backed Great American Outdoors Act, which especially helps address the needs of National Parks Service infrastructure and facilities. The bill would establish the National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Fund, which would direct $9.5 billion in non-taxpayer monies over five years to address priority repairs in national parks and on other public lands controlled and operated by the Department of the Interior and its agencies. A minimum of 65 percent of the fund would be dedicated to non-transportation projects, such as building construction. The remaining parts of the fund would be available for roads, bridges, tunnels, and other transportation-related projects. The bill passed the Senate last month and heads to the president for his expected signature into law.
Billions in funding for Army Corps Projects
On July 13, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2021 Energy and Water Development bill, H.R. 7613
, on a vote of 30 to 21. The bill appropriates strong funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The bill is expected to be included in among a series of appropriations packages that the House will vote on this week.
On July 20, Major General Scott A. Spellmon was confirmed by the Senate to be the 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Maj. Gen. Spellmon has proved to be a practical, performance driven leader. In his role as Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, Maj. Gen. Spellmon has been pivotal in overseeing the implementation of billions of dollars in natural disaster related construction recovery efforts and the Corps response to COVID-19 epidemic. AGC looks forward to continuing our close working relationship with the Corps under his leadership. We thank outgoing Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite for his tremendous leadership and unparalleled dedication to partnering that will create lasting and positive change to our industry.
Prohibits Use of Certain Chinese Telecommunications Components
On July 10, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council released the draft Interim Final Rule
(IFR) to implement section 889(a)(I)(B) of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act
. The rule, often referred to as “Section 889 Part B,” prohibits federal agencies from entering into, extending, or renewing, a contract with a contractor that uses any equipment, system, or service, using certain Chinese companies’ telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system beginning August 13, 2020 – unless an exception applies or a waiver is granted.
AGC Supports Streamlined Environmental Review Procedures, Analyses and Transparency Measures
President Donald Trump and the Council on Environmental Quality announced a final rule
July 15 to “comprehensively update and substantially revise” the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). AGC responded
in support of the NEPA updates that will reduce the cost, complexity and time spent on federal environmental reviews and related litigation – making it easier for businesses and communities to plan, finance and build projects.
Recent Data from Procore on Jobsite Workers’ Hours Indicates Employment May Have Leveled Off; Immediate Federal Investment in Infrastructure, Relief for States is Needed to Avoid New Downturn
Construction employment increased from May to June in 31 states and the District of Columbia, but the gains may have stalled, according to an analysis
by AGC of America of government employment data released today and a compilation
of weekly jobsite hours by construction technology firm Procore. Association officials urged officials in Washington to promptly enact funding for infrastructure projects and plug looming state and local budget deficits to head off a new round of job losses.
New Survey by AGC of America and HCSS Catalogs Work Zone Risks for Motorists and Workers as Construction Activity Increases Amid Growing Number of Road Trip Vacationers
Construction employment increased
in 329 out of 358 metro areas between April and May as a new survey
finds that two-thirds of highway construction firms had at least one crash in the past year at highway work zones they operate. Officials with AGC of America and HCSS, which conducted the survey, urged drivers to slow down and be aware while driving through highway work zones during their summer travels.