Construction Law

September 18, 2008
Taking the final step necessary to ensure that the payment of federal-aid highway funds to states will continue uninterrupted, President Bush on Monday signed H.R. 6532 into law. The legislation transfers $8 billion from the U.S. Treasury's general fund to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
September 18, 2008
The Senate this week is poised to pass three-part legislation to keep the existing tax rate for most Americans, provide some disaster relief and stimulate the production of energy in the United States.
September 18, 2008
Earlier this week the House passed a Democratic energy plan that would allow some offshore drilling, but with restrictions.  Passed along party lines, the bill would open up areas for oil shale development in Western States and drilling from 50 to 100 miles offshore if a state votes to agree to the drilling. Meanwhile, the bill leaves out a revenue sharing provision for states, which has led many Senate Democrats and Republicans to indicate they cannot support the House bill.  Senate Democrats are working on alternative legislation they expect to have ready next week.
September 18, 2008
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday approved several measures awaiting committee consideration, including three bills to authorize funding for water infrastructure, bridge rehabilitation and dam repair.
September 18, 2008
The Senate overwhelmingly approved the FY 09 defense authorization bill Wednesday after a showdown over earmarks with Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) forced Democrats to scuttle plans to attach a massive "manager's package" of amendments to the annual legislation. After of roughly 100 amendments were taken off the table, the Senate voted 88-8 to approve the bill. The measure now goes to a Conference Committee to be reconciled with the House version, which must be wrapped up in the next week in order to receive final consideration.
September 12, 2008
On Wednesday, September 10, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on the efforts to build a fence along the country’s southern border.  The hearing mostly focused on the delays behind the building of the virtual fence, but briefly touched on the cost increases for the physical fence as well.
September 12, 2008
In the coming weeks, staff changes will take place at HQ USACE. Major General Don Riley, who was promoted to Deputy Commanding General earlier this year, left a vacancy in the Civil Works Directorate. Earlier this week, Lieutenant General Van Antwerp announced that Major General Bo Temple, the current Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, will assume the position of Deputy Commanding General for Civil Works and Emergency Operations later this fall.
September 12, 2008
McCain/Palin received a post-convention bounce, leading in one poll this week by as much as ten points (USA Today/Gallup 9/5-9/7).  Average poll numbers produce a less dramatic but still significant change in direction for the GOP. Since the end of the Republican Convention, polls shows Sen. McCain leading 47.6 to 45.2; this is almost exactly the opposite of the averages following the Democratic Convention when Sen. Obama led by four points.
September 12, 2008
On September 8, AGC urged the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to focus on six priority areas - those that will most impact the ability of AGC members to hire, manage their businesses and pay taxes into the future - in the waning weeks of the 110th Congress. The construction industry is suffering a drop in employment, especially in highway and transportation construction, where there has been a drop of more than 5% in the past year. The construction industry has also seen significant volatility in diesel/energy prices over the last five years.
September 12, 2008
On a voice vote Wednesday the Senate passed HR 6532, legislation transferring $8 billion from the general fund of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund. The transfer will prevent a shortfall in available funds from slowing down federal reimbursements to states for on-going federal-aid highway construction projects. The Senate amended the House bill to allow for the transfer to happen immediately rather than on October 1. The House passed the bill Thursday by a vote of 376-29, and the President is expected to sign it expeditiously.

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