In January, NAVFAC Rear Admiral Kate Gregory sent AGC and all NAVFAC contractors a letter about her concerns for corporate construction safety given seven recent fatalities. Admiral Gregory requested AGC’s thoughts on means to improve safety on the jobsite.
Recently, AGC sent two letters opposing the possible use of a project labor agreement (PLA) mandate posted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One letter addressed concerns about a possible PLA mandate for an intake diversion dam in Montana, while the other opposed consideration of PLAs within the Charleston District area of jurisdiction.
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Want to learn about the latest federal agency projects set to hit the street in your market? Need to brush up on the latest barrage of federal regulations your business must follow? Attend the AGC Federal Contractors Conference May 12-14, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. to learn all this information and more to help ensure you stay ahead of your competition.
House Small Business Committee to Introduce Legislation Soon
Earlier today, Randall Gibson—AGC NAVFAC Committee chair and president of Whitesell-Green, a small general contractor based in Florida—testified on behalf of AGC before the House Small Business Committee on a host of procurement reform issues. In the testimony, AGC encouraged members of the committee and Congress to:
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) recently introduced the “Government Neutrality in Contracting Act” (S. 71) in the Senate. This legislation would prohibit federal contracting agencies from mandating that contractors and unions enter project labor agreements (PLAs) on direct federal projects. In addition, the bill would preserve the right of contractors and unions to voluntarily negotiate and execute project labor agreements on federal projects, if they so choose.
Support U.S. Marine Contractors & Oppose Sen. McCain’s Amendment
This week, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation that would repeal provisions of the Jones Act, which supports the American maritime industry including American marine construction contractors. The Jones Act requires waterborne cargo between two points in the U.S. to be transported on American vessels. Compared to foreign maritime companies that receive direct subsidies from their respective governments, U.S. companies in the domestic trades succeed on their merits in the marketplace where competition is fierce. Moreover, repeal will also permit unfair competition from heavily subsidized foreign dredging contractors pursuing contracts to maintain and construct our domestic waterways, restore and armor our eroding coastlines, and all things related.
On Dec. 16, as part of the tax extenders legislation, the Senate passed a provision that would increase a fuel tax to benefit inland waterway lock and dam construction and maintenance projects. The provision would raise the fuel tax from 20 cents to 29 cents per gallon on barges using the inland waterway system and will take effect after April 1, 2015. For the last several years, AGC has worked with a coalition of commercial barge, agricultural and labor interests in pressing for this increase in inland waterways infrastructure funding.
Passage Expected in Senate
This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed a $1.1 trillion funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2015 by a vote of 219-206. The bill funds most of the government through September 2015. The House will also takes steps to allow the Senate time to vote while avoiding a government shutdown at midnight tonight. In addition to funding the government, the bill included many policy riders.