Infrastructure Update:

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators are seeking support from their colleagues and the White House on a tentative infrastructure package they negotiated last week, calling the plan a “realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies.” The plan “would be fully paid for and not include tax increases,” the senators added, and on Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) detailed three mechanisms for funding the proposal: an infrastructure financing authority; repurposing funding approved by Congress in March for COVID-19 relief; and a provision for electric vehicles for use of roads and bridges. Collins also stated that the proposal won’t include any gas tax hike or any undoing of Republicans’ signature 2017 tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, the president and many democrats have called for raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to cover the cost of any infrastructure plan.  Additionally, Democrats have pushed for an infrastructure bill to address climate change and include clean energy provisions.

 

While details of the bipartisan proposal remain unclear, the package is reported to include:

  • $1.2 trillion of spending over eight years
  • $974 billion spent over the first five years
  • The plan calls for $579 billion dollars of new spending.
  • The spending will be focused on core, physical infrastructure.

 

The fate of the bipartisan proposal largely lays in the hands of the president, whose support will be necessary to get Democrats on board with moving forward. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also hinted at pursuing a two-pronged approach to infrastructure, potentially allowing for a bipartisan infrastructure deal to pass Congress, while then working to support a budget reconciliation package that would allow a partisan vote on Democrats’ priorities and additional funding on the proposals included in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. ABC will continue to provide updates on the development of this and other infrastructure proposals in Congress.

 

Biden Administration Releases Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda:

On June 11, the Biden administration released its Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and into 2022.

Issues coming out of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration include a request for information seeking public input on a possible rulemaking on heat illness prevention in indoor and outdoor settings in October 2021, a proposed rule on infectious diseases in December 2021 and a proposed rule on occupational exposure to crystalline silica to determine if revisions to Table 1 in the standard for construction may be appropriate in April 2022.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division is expected to issue a proposed rule to update and modernize the regulations implementing the Davis-Bacon Act and others acts to provide greater clarity and enhance the usefulness of these acts in the modern economy in November 2021. The agency also stated their intent to examine joint employment relationships under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration intends to issue a proposed rule to update NHTSA's National Environmental Policy Act implementing regulations in September 2021, and the Council on Environmental Quality plans to issue a multi-step proposal to revise its 2020 NEPA regulations in July 2021.

ABC is following additional regulations expected to come out of the U.S. Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development, National Labor Relations Board, Environmental Protection Agency, and more.

More information on these and other rulemakings can be found in the Spring 2021 agenda as well as in this week’s Newsline.

 

Register Today for the 2021 ABC Virtual Legal Conference on Thursday, June 24:

Join ABC leaders, legal and regulatory experts and government officials as they share the latest developments in labor and employment law and their impact on merit shop contractors. Learn more about the seven content-rich virtual sessions!