By a vote of 36-22, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation that would send the administration’s proposed rule redefining federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act back to the drawing board.
VA Admits to Problems; Seeks AGC Partnership
This week, AGC met with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, at his request, to discuss the agency’s construction program and our concerns for its future. Secretary McDonald admitted to the agency’s difficulties and expressed his sincere interest in working with AGC and its members to improve its construction program. AGC graciously accepted his offer to work with him and the agency to do so.
As the House and Senate begin discussions on how to deal with the May 31 expiration of the current transportation authorization, two bipartisan bills are emerging that seek to end the cycle of short-term bailouts of the Highway Trust Fund and set a path for a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill.
Over 500 contractors, material suppliers, equipment distributors and manufacturers, and other construction industry businesses participated in the 2015 Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Legislative Fly-In, held this week in Washington, D.C. The groups heard from House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx about the prospects for passage of a long-term transportation reauthorization bill and a fix for the Highway Trust Fund. TCC members then spent a day visiting with their Congressional delegations pointing out that the uncertainty of not having a long-term reauthorization bill in place has caused states to reduce lettings going into the construction season and undermines contractor hiring and training of new employees and making investments in equipment. AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division Chair Tom Foss participated in a press conference with Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and ranking Democrat Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called to highlight the need for Congress to act.
On Wednesday, AGC submitted three formal comment letters to the Business Income Tax Working Group, Savings & Investment Working Group, and the Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s request for input from stakeholders on how to revamp the tax code. Submissions from stakeholders will be reviewed by the working groups and ideas can be incorporated into the each working group’s final recommendations. The five working group recommendations will be delivered to Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden, and will be considered in developing bipartisan tax reform legislation this summer.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act, by a 240-179 vote. This attempt to repeal the federal estate tax was the first vote of its kind in a decade and the likelihood for Senate consideration is low. During the fiscal year 2016 Budget vote-a-rama in the Senate late last month, an amendment (No. 607) was offered by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) that would permanently repeal the estate tax passed on a party-line vote 54 to 46. That vote, mostly symbolic because of its non-binding nature, was more of a policy statement that provided a gauge of what might happen if a repeal bill is brought to the floor.
June 8-9, 2015 | Colorado Springs, CO
The AGC Financial Issues Committee (FIC) Summer Meeting will be held June 8-9, 2015 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. The meeting is geared toward member company AGC member company CFOs, Treasurers, Finance Directors, Controllers, Tax Directors and other senior accounting professionals. Members have an opportunity to learn as well as formulate positions on tax and accounting matters that directly affect the bottom line and operations of AGC member companies of all sizes and specialties. Current FIF projects include helping construction companies to prepare for the new Revenue Recognition Accounting Standard Update that goes into effect in 2017.
This week, House leadership named five Republicans and three Democrats to the budget conference panel. Senate leaders appointed the entire membership of the Senate Budget Committee as conferees on the FY 2016 budget resolution, 12 Republicans, eight Democrats and two Independents.