Federal Contractor Report
December 2020
Federal Government
Other construction policy provisions pass
Congress passed a compromise National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021 (NDAA). This bill authorizes $8.4 billion for military construction, family housing, and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) cleanup activities. Earlier this year, AGC, along with a coalition of associations, sent Congress a list of over 130 priorities to consider for the NDAA.
Authorizes dozens of Army Corps projects
On Dec. 8, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the AGC-backed Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (S. 1811), which would authorize investment in 46 new Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works construction projects throughout the nation and dozens of feasibility studies. AGC applauded the bipartisan efforts to develop the bill and highlighted provisions that it supports. Both the Senate (and House) versions of WRDA adjusts the cost-share from 50% for Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)/50% General Revenues to 35% IWTF/65% General Revenues, which could potentially provide $1 billion in additional construction funds over 10 years. This important reform will assist local governments which are expected to have less revenue due to economic impact of COVID-19. The bill provides the authority to appropriate additional funds for harbor maintenance from the existing balance of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), which is approximately $10 billion. Senate is expected to vote on the bill in the coming days.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Federal Agencies
Discusses challenges and opportunities
On December 1, AGC of America’s CEO, Steve Sandherr, met with Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon, the new Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with other senior Army Corps leaders. AGC and the Army Corps discussed LTG Spellmon’s vision for the Army Corps solutions to the challenges facing our nation’s infrastructure, and how the Army Corps can better partner with the construction industry. AGC looks forward to continuing our decades-long history with the Army Corps to ensure the delivery of high-quality facilities and infrastructure and will help ensure a brighter future for the construction industry, the Army Corps, and our nation.
For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Small Business Administration and Office of Management and Budget secretly crafted questionnaire that asks about everything other than the economic uncertainty that Congress intended to drive program
AGC of America filed suit recently to compel Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to revise the questionnaire being used to reassess whether companies were eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The construction association is also asking the federal courts to restrict use of the information that the questionnaire generates until the SBA makes it available to the public and revises it.
Issued after weeks of AGC engagement with SBA/Treasury
On December 9, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department issued new guidance on the “Loan Necessity Questionnaire” that SBA is requiring borrowers with loans of $2 million or more to complete as they apply for loan forgiveness. The new guidance does not expressly disavow any intention to use this controversial form to change the rules in the middle of the game but it does provide that SBA will base its review of a borrower’s eligibility for a PPP loan on the borrower’s “individual circumstances” and “in light of the language of the certification and SBA guidance,” as required “at the time of the loan application, and “even if subsequent developments resulted in the loan no longer being necessary.” SBA adds that it “may take into account the borrower’s circumstances and actions both before and after the borrower’s certification” but implies that it will consider the latter only “to the extent that doing so will assist SBA in determining whether the borrower made the statutorily required certification in good faith at the time of its loan application.”
On November 13, 2020, AGC submitted comments generally supportive of recently proposed revisions to the Nationwide Permits (NWP). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal included revisions to several NWPs, including modifications to the thresholds for streambed loss for certain permits, establishment of a new mitigation requirement, and clarifications to the pre-construction notification process. The Corps also intends to reissue the entire suite of NWPs for a new five-year cycle on an earlier timeframe (they are currently set to expire in 2022).
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
Upcoming Events
Do you have knowledge to share with construction industry safety, health and/or environmental professionals? If so, please complete AGC’s call for presentations for the Construction Safety, Health and Environmental Conference (CSHEC) on July 20-22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Presentation proposals are due Feb. 12, 2021.
AGC’s CSHEC is designed for emerging to senior-level management professionals who work in any of the commercial construction markets. All educational sessions should speak to these attendees and should involve topics that reflect current and emerging issues in construction safety and health or the environment. AGC is looking for presentations within the broad categories of regulatory compliance, technology, training and communication, leadership development, risk management, sustainability and resilience.
For more information, please contact Nazia Shah (safety and health) at nazia.shah@agc.org or Melinda Tomaino (environmental) at melinda.tomaino@agc.org.

December 17-18, 2020
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Crane Management in Construction Safety Training

January 13-15, 2021
Construction Safety & Health Virtual Conference

January 28, 2021 / 4 – 6:30 p.m.
February 1-10, 2021 / 12 – 5:30 p.m.
Virtual Construction Project Manager Course

Watermark Solutions
AGC News
Industry unemployment hits highest November level since 2012 as sluggish nonresidential building and infrastructure construction lags, while residential employment nears pre-pandemic peak

Construction employment increased by 27,000 jobs in November, as continuing robust gains in residential categories masked more sluggish increases in nonresidential jobs, according to an analysis by AGC of America of government data released recently. Association officials cautioned, however, that pandemic-induced project cancellations and looming tax bills for firms that used Paycheck Protection Program loans to save jobs threaten to undermine future job growth in the sector.



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