Action Needed—Sign on Letter to White House on Infrastructure:
ABC is urging member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry. You may view the letter and sign on here, and we plan the close the letter tonight.
We have over 300 signatures to the letter and most Chapters have signed on. We could really use some of our member companies in the President’s home state of Delaware signing on, along with more member companies from South Carolina, Louisiana, Indiana, Arizona, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Maine, and Alaska.
REMINDER--PRO Act and FOCA Paycheck Stuffers:
Paycheck stuffers highlighting the PRO Act and Fair and Open Competition are now available for ABC staff and members to utilize. Both copies may be viewed and printed here and are also available on national connections via FEA.
Biden Joint Address Calls for PRO Act, $4 Trillion in Spending:
President Biden on Wednesday called for the passage of the ABC-opposed PRO Act during his first address before a joint session of Congress. The legislation, which is the top priority of labor unions, remains stalled in the Senate. Please see ABC VP Ben Brubeck’s op-ed on the President’s push for PRO Act and infrastructure plan to share with members here.
"The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America, that’s what it says. And, it recognizes something I’ve always said. The guys and women on Wall Street, Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions build the middle class," Biden said. "And that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass the Protect the Right to Organize Act, the PRO Act, and send it to my desk to support the right to unionize.” Watch the clip.
Biden also pitched his plan to raise taxes to help cover the roughly $4 trillion in additional federal spending he is proposing. ABC released a statement on the administration’s most recent call to increase capital gains and the top tax-rate for Americans. Additionally, ABC’s coalition on small business tax policy, Parity for Main Street Employers, released a statement criticizing the tax proposal as well.
In some promising developments from the administration, President Biden said he welcomed Republican ideas on his infrastructure and antipoverty proposals and would continue to meet with members of the opposing party in the Oval Office. He also called on Republicans to work with Democrats to find a consensus on overhauling police practices, stopping short of endorsing the partisan House-passed legislation from earlier this year.
The president also called on Congress to pass the immigration proposal he released on his first day in office, which would create a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million people who entered the country illegally, overstayed visas or have obtained temporary protection from deportation, but doesn’t include the increased border security that Republicans have sought in exchange for legalization. ABC has raised concerns over the President’s proposal as well, for its lack of law enforcement and failure to address construction industry’s need for access to a foreign workforce to fill critical jobs.
Senate to Pass Bipartisan Bill Funding Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Investments:
The Senate will vote today on S. 914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) of 2021. Before the bill’s passage, ABC sent a letter of support urging U.S. Senators to support the bipartisan legislation.
DWWIA would authorize an investment of more than $35 billion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the country that focus on upgrading aging infrastructure. The legislation includes nearly $30 billion in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) and an additional $6 billion in grant funding over 5 years.
Last December, Congress included the 2020 WRDA bill in the omnibus, but notably did not include any titles related to drinking water and clean water infrastructure. DWWIA builds upon legislation previously reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works in 2020 under Republican leadership, which passed by a vote of 21-0. In 2021, the EPW committee again favorably reported S.914 by a unanimous vote on April 14.
In the letter to Senators, ABC raised concerns that these funds would apply federal Davis-Bacon Act requirements to federal and non-federally funded projects - decreasing the value to taxpayers while not applying any restriction to size of the project and without requiring the Department of Labor to improve its ongoing wage determination issues. The Obama Administration’s implementation of the EPA’s Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations affecting the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs added Davis-Bacon wage requirements to the programs.
Additionally, before passage, ABC highlighted that the flawed and inflationary wage determination process increases the cost of construction and can have chilling impact on competition, particularly for small and minority-owned businesses to the EPW Committee.
However, ABC is encouraged by the bipartisan nature of the bill, as we continue to encourage lawmakers to promote a fair and open competitive procurement process free from ABC-opposed project labor agreement mandates, as this bill is.
Biden’s First 100 Days: Impacts on Merit Shop Contractors:
From supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to rolling back Trump-era regulatory actions, the Biden administration got off to a fast start delivering on its election-year promises to unions. ABC has mobilized to protect merit shop construction and provide members with status and updates on key policy actions.
Get the latest on project labor agreement mandates, right-to-work laws, the independent contractor rule and more in ABC’s comprehensive analysis.