Infrastructure

October 30, 2015

Extension Through Nov. 20

This week saw significant progress in moving a multi-year highway & transit bill.  Following passage of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRRA) in the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last week, the full House is expected to consider the bill next week.

October 29, 2015
  Recently, AGC sent letters opposing the possible use of a project labor agreement (PLA) mandate posted by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest (NAVFAC) and the General Services Administration Mid-Atlantic Region (GSA). The letters address the possible use of mandatory PLAs involving the construction of the Special Operations Forces Logistics Support Unit One Operations Facility at the Navy’s Silver Strand Training Complex in Imperial Beach, California and a Measurement Systems Laboratory at the NASA Langley Research Center located in Hampton, Virginia.
October 15, 2015

Visit AGC’s Action Center at www.agc.org/TakeAction

One of the numerous issues AGC is working on in the highway & transit bill is to provide some relief from hours of service restrictions on construction industry drivers.  For the past 20 years, current law has provided a limited construction industry exemption which has had no negative impact on driver safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently provided an additional similar exemption for certain construction material deliveries. AGC is seeking to modernize the existing exemption to meet the challenges of construction material and equipment delivery.

October 9, 2015

The House and Senate approved the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which includes several AGC-supported procurement reforms. Those reforms:

October 9, 2015

Positive Change Stemming from AGC Legislative Action

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a proposed rule that would allow prime contractors to count lower-tier, small business subcontracts towards their small business subcontracting goals. Currently, prime contractors can only take credit for their small business subcontracts at the first tier. This proposed rule will allow prime contractors to take credit for such subcontracts—above $650,000—at any tier to meet such goals.  

October 8, 2015

AGC Legislative Success Begins Implementation Process

The FAR Council released a proposed rule that would help limit the number of short-listed design-build teams to no more than five during a two-step design-build procurement through federal agencies. The proposed rule takes a two-pronged approach to implementing this policy. First, for contracts at or below $4 million, contracting officers will have to document their reasons for including more than five teams on the short-list. Second, for contracts above $4 million, contracting officers will not only have to provide such documentation to include more than five teams, but also have approval from the head of the contracting agency—i.e., Chief of Engineers at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—to include more than five teams on the short-list.

October 8, 2015

Prohibits Reverse Auctions for Construction Services Contracts

This week, Sens. David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced and passed legislation out of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee that would help prohibit federal agencies from conducting reverse auctions for construction services contracts. A reverse auction is a procurement process through which contractors bid down price—and can see others’ bids—for a good or service contract in real time. Many federal agencies use reverse auctions to procure non-variable commodities like pens and paper. However, several federal agencies also use reverse auctions to procure construction services, which are inherently variable based on the project, site location and construction professionals.

October 8, 2015

Meet with Reps. Next Week

This week there were encouraging reports out of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee that they plan to finalize and move their long-term highway & transit bill before the end of October.  Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ranking Democrat Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) met today to continue negotiations with the goal of announcing a mark-up the week of Oct. 26.  It is unclear what funding levels the House bill will provide, due in large part to the breakdown in negotiations last week between Ways & Means Chairman Paul Ryan and Senator Charles Schumer, who had been negotiating a bipartisan compromise on how U.S. corporations are taxed on their overseas assets and using that revenue to fund a transportation bill.

September 3, 2015

If You Haven’t Contacted Your Rep, There is Still Time!

Throughout the month of August, AGC chapters and members have been visiting with their Congressmen, urging them to pass a long-term, fully funded transportation bill when they return to Washington in September. If you have not yet contacted your Congressman, now is the time to do so.

September 12, 2015

AGC Members Must Continue to Press House of Representatives for Action

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee could meet as early as next week to mark up their version of a multiyear highway & transit bill.  However, they have yet to make any formal announcement or release the bill. Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said this week that the committee is working to finalize the bill and determine a markup date.

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