February 27, 2016

Talks of Extension Begin

Talk about passing a short-term extension of the Aviation Innovation Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act swirled around Capitol Hill this week.  Although the Act passed out of committee in early February, the House has not made plans to consider the bill on the floor prior to its expiration on March 31. 

February 26, 2016

Water Resources Development Act Consideration Underway

As part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently submitted an annual report to Congress that identifies about $13 billion worth of potential Civil Works Program projects for study, modification or construction. The report identifies 12 potential projects valued at about $3.663 billion with signed Chief of Engineers (COE) reports, 10 potential projects valued at about $2.980 billion with pending COE reports and 26 potential projects valued at $6.445 billion that state and local entities requested. Potential projects with signed COE reports have been fully vetted within USACE and are ready to enter the planning phase of construction. Projects recommended by state and local entities require further USACE study if authorized. 

February 12, 2016

AGC Seeks Increased Funding for Airport Infrastructure

Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee officially kicked-off the reauthorization process for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with a markup of the Aviation Innovation Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act.  The AIRR Act, which fundamentally transforms air traffic control operations, is expected to pass the committee later this evening.  It is important that representatives and senators hear from AGC members about the need for increased funding for airport runway and infrastructure projects The FAA is currently operating under an extension that expires on March 31.

February 12, 2016

Includes 13 Percent Increase in Federal Construction Accounts

On Feb. 9, President Obama released his $4.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2017, which proposes $1.215 trillion in discretionary defense and non-defense spending in FY 2017 and $2.565 trillion in mandatory spending.  The budget, which stays within the discretionary spending limits set last November in the Bipartisan Budget Act, has been declared dead on arrival by Republican Congressional leaders.  For the first time in 41 years, the House and Senate budget committees will not hold hearings with the president’s budget director.

February 12, 2016

Addresses Change Orders, Industry Standards and Standard Designs

The House of Representatives this week unanimously passed AGC-supported legislation that would help improve the VA construction program’s interactions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and accountability to taxpayers and Congress.  Introduced by the House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the Construction Reform Act of 2016 (H.R. 3106) would:

February 11, 2016

Bill Addresses One-Step Design-Build and Reverse Auctions

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs this week unanimously passed AGC-supported legislation that would (1) require civilian federal agencies—non-Department of Defense agencies—to utilize the two-step design-build selection process for design-build projects greater than $750,000, thereby limiting one-step design-build procurements; and (2) prohibit reverse auctions for construction services. The bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), the Consensus Procurement Improvement Act of 2015, S. 1526, may now move to the Senate floor for consideration and passage. An AGC co-chaired coalition of 15 national construction organizations sent a letter in support of this measure and has long worked to advance it through the legislative process. AGC is working with members of the House to introduce the same bill there.

February 11, 2016

AGC Pushes for Redevelopment of Excess Federal Real Property

Members of the House and Senate have recently introduced and advanced legislation that could encourage federal agencies to dispose of, consolidate, or redevelop billions of dollars of excess or underutilized civilian federal real property. This could translate into significant private and federal construction work throughout the nation. As such, advancing these bills are a significant legislative priority for AGC.

February 26, 2016

US DOT this week announced that it is soliciting applications for two discretionary grant programs totaling $1.3 billion. The FAST Act created a new program for "Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects" that US DOT is calling the FASTLANE grants program, an acronym that stands for "Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies." 

February 26, 2016

AGC joined with nine other construction industry groups in a letter to FHWA Administrator Greg Nadeau asking the agency to complete action on a proposed rule clarifying the applicability of Buy America requirements for manufactured products that may contain steel elements and for incidental products such as nuts, bolts washers and others. 

February 19, 2016

AGC is looking to the future of federal transportation funding and what steps can be taken to fix the Highway Trust Fund revenue shortfall and be sure that future revenue is tied to a user fee based system. One approach was discussed in the recent Congressional Budget Office report.


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