AGC is advocating
to block the inclusion of policies that would negatively impact military construction contractors in a final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill—a must-pass, annual defense policy bill. The House of Representatives passed its version
of the NDAA in September, but Senate floor debate on its version
has stalled as Senators have struggled to reach an agreement on the amendment process.
On November 29, AGC, along with 18 other organizations, sent a letter
to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking her department to clarify that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds can be used by state and local governments to mitigate the effects of material and supply chain delays and shortages. This would include, but would not be limited to, materials, products, and equipment price increases and the effects they are having on project costs. Recent member surveys from AGC and other stakeholder organizations confirmed that material prices are and will continue to increase into 2022. As the stated purpose of state and local government funding in the ARPA is to “mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the public health emergency with respect to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19),” the pandemic-induced supply chain delays and shortages certainly fall within congressional intent of the legislation.
On November 30, a federal judge granted a temporary halt to
the federal contractor vaccine
mandate for covered contracts in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. This preliminary injunction is not a final determination on the merits of the case, but merely the beginning of the court case that will impact federal contractors and subcontractors only in these three states. This ruling has no impact on the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for companies with 100 or more employees. Despite the limited scope of this injunction, at least one federal agency
has announced it will halt enforcing the vaccine mandate in those states. It is important to note that this move does not prevent owners and employers from imposing their respective vaccination requirements, and federal contractors should continue to comply with contract obligations and consult with legal counsel before changing any policies in response to this limited pause. AGC and its members have strongly encouraged voluntary COVID-19 vaccination for their employees since the vaccines became available.
Significant CMMC Revisions to Make Compliance More Practical
After months of internal review, the Department of Defense announced
it will make significant changes to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program, now called CMMC 2.0
. Among these changes are: reducing the number of companies that would require a 3rd party assessment, reducing the CMMC rating from 5 levels to 3 levels, suspending CMMC pilot programs until a final regulation, allow for annual self-assessments for certain levels, and brings back Plans of Action and Milestone (POAM). These changes were met with oppositions from some stakeholders
who argue that these changes are counter to DoD policies and President Biden’s recent Executive Orders increasing cybersecurity reporting requirements for businesses. AGC has communicated the difficulty many contractors have had implementing these new cybersecurity requirements and the challenges of that the CMMC model brings. DOD acknowledges the challenge of being 100% complaint with CMMC, but suggest a firm’s “policies, plans, processes, and procedures” may offset the need for full compliance. AGC will continue to follow this issue and will update members as development grows.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that implements Executive Order 14026
to increase the hourly minimum wage for employees on federal contracts beginning January 30, 2022.
The rule applies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and specified U.S. territories, and does the following:
• Increases the hourly minimum wage for workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts to $15 beginning January 30, 2022.
• Continues to index the federal contract minimum wage in future years to inflation.
• Ensures a $15 minimum wage for workers with disabilities performing work on or in connection with covered contracts.
President Biden’s Executive Order 14026 applies to new contracts, and renewals and extensions of existing contracts, beginning January 30, 2022.
On November 15, AGC, along with industry allies, filed a lawsuit
in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit challenging the recent OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS). The suit highlights the many efforts the construction industry has collectively engaged in to combat COVID-19, including funding public service announcements and other proactive measures to encourage contractors to protect their workers throughout the pandemic. It also makes clear that the challenge is not in opposition to the ETS’s objective to get more people vaccinated, but the negative economic impact such a mandate will have on the construction industry and the fact that it exceeds the statutory authority of the U.S. Department of Labor. In all, there were 34 cases filed in 12 different circuits. On November 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was randomly selected to consolidate all the cases
November 16 to December 7, 2021
8-Part Webinar Series: Hottest Tech Topics of 2021
WebEd: AGC's IT Webinar Series
2 to 4 p.m.
December 8, 2021
WebEd: Connected and Collaborative: How Owners & Contractors Win in the Same Platform
Sponsored by: Autodesk
December 9, 2021
Virtual Lean Workshop: Lean into Safety
12 to 4 p.m.
December 9, 2021
WebEd: The Power of Data: Leveraging AI and Machine Learning in Project Delivery
2 to 3 p.m.
December 14, 2021
WebEd: Journey to Efficiency: Streamline Operations, Reduce Waste and Costs
Sponsored by: Hilti
December 15, 2021
WebEd: Managing Subcontractor Default, Bankruptcy and Owner Insolvency in a Recovering Post Covid-19 Construction Economy
January 12-14, 2022
2022 Construction Safety & Health Conference
Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa, Arizona
January 24-26, 2022
2022 Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management Conference
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, Florida
Help us generate a comprehensive outlook for 2022 by taking the survey today
Each year around this time, AGC asks you – our members – to predict what next year will be like for your business. AGC has partnered with Sage to prepare questions that focus on expectations for market performance, hiring, labor market conditions, etc. Please take a moment to complete the survey here
. AGC of America will use the survey results to help make the case with elected and appointed officials in support of key member priorities. The more people who complete the survey, the more effective the results will be in supporting our work on your behalf.
Deadline of December 15 is fast approaching
The purpose of the CSEA is to recognize those construction companies who excel at safety performance. The CSEA closely examines each candidate's commitment to safety and occupational health management and risk control. Unlike other safety award programs that limit the criteria to frequency rates, the CSEA selection process is considerably more comprehensive.
For the 13th year in a row, AGC of America has been named as one of the nation’s top lobbying operations by Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill. The publication’s annual ranking
of top lobbyists lists AGC CEO Steve Sandherr as a top lobbyist. Sandherr said the listing is a recognition of the strong lobbying team working at the association, noting the association’s work to ensure the success of the Paycheck Protection Program, advocating for the new Bipartisan Infrastructure bill and helping shape national policy of issues like climate change and workforce development issues.
You can read The Hill’s article and find the complete rankings here