ABC Supports Bipartisan Senate Infrastructure Proposal:
Yesterday, ABC sent a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in support of the bipartisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act. The bill passed committee unanimously by a vote of 20-0 and would allocate $311 billion over 5 years for the nation’s infrastructure. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), ranking member of EPW and lead GOP negotiator on the broader push, said the bill approved Wednesday can serve as an "anchor" for broader efforts. And EPW Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) said of the bill that “it won't be the final version.”
Full text of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act can be found here along with a section-by-section and summary. Notably, the bill includes several ABC priorities such as no PLA mandates, codification of the one federal decision for environmental review and requirements for major infrastructure projects and additional tools to make the review requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) more efficient. Additionally, the bill would provide states more flexibility to support transportation workforce development and education.
The bipartisan package comes at a time when Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on a comprehensive federal infrastructure investment package, though today, Senate Republicans presented a $928 billion infrastructure plan, coming up from their previous $568 billion proposal, while the White House’s latest $1.7 trillion offer, came down from its original $2.3 trillion. However, the scope of an infrastructure package and how to pay for it remains to be decided, and President Biden has set a Memorial Day target for making progress in the bipartisan talks. Without an agreement soon, Congressional Democrats are prepared to move forward without Republicans using the budget reconciliation they used for the $1.9 trillion spending bill in March.
Additionally, more than 200 U.S. House Democrats signed a letter to the president today to express their support for expansive and dangerous labor provisions in all aspects of infrastructure investments from the federal government.
ABC to Lead New Tax Coalition:
This week ABC joined over 30 top business trade associations representing a broad swath of the American economy recently announced the launch of a new coalition to oppose the Biden administration’s job-killing tax proposals.
ABC will be serving as one of the management committee members for America’s Job Creators for a Strong Recovery, a coalition of associations representing individual and family-owned businesses and corporations that oppose job-killing tax increases as the country looks to move past the COVID-19 pandemic. ABC believes that the tax increases proposed by the president on America’s job creators would stall the economic recovery rather than fuel it and counteract the economic benefits of smart infrastructure spending.
ABC Joins Letter to Oppose Biden Tax Proposal:
Earlier this week, ABC joined a coalition of associations in opposing a recent tax proposal from the Biden administration. ABC supports the continuation of stepped-up basis and is concerned about the economic damage that step-up repeal via tax at death would inflict on family-owned construction businesses.
President Biden’s proposal would repeal stepped-up basis by imposing capital gains taxes when assets transfer ownership at death, forcing many family-owned businesses to liquidate assets or lay off employees to cover the tax burden. This new tax would be imposed on top of any existing estate tax liability, further compounding the negative impacts and creating a second tax at death.
ABC’s Greg Sizemore Appointed to OSHA Advisory Committee:
Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development, has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Labor to serve as a representative for U.S. construction employers on the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, which provides advice and assistance to the assistant secretary on occupational safety and health in construction standards. See more information on the appointment in the press release here.
ABC PAC Reception Next Week:
ABC PAC is hosting a poolside reception (flyer attached) at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort on Thursday, June 3. All attendees are required to have a current company prior authorization on file with ABC PAC.
To learn more about ABC PAC and sign a prior authorization online, please click here.
Unionstats.com Now Includes Construction Wage Data:
Unionstats.com, which performs a yearly analysis to calculate state-by-state construction industry unionization numbers, has updated their website to include historical wage data for union and nonunion workers in the construction industry. Of note, the wage data combines residential and non-residential construction and is not broken down by the individual trades. Nonetheless, chapters should be aware of this development as Unionstats.com is a commonly cited source for state unionization data. The wage data, which is not broken down by state, shows historical wages in the industry going back to 1973. As a reminder, ABC National’s talking points on Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage includes talking points related to union and nonunion wages, which can be accessed through National Connections here.
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