Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Updates

Updated August 23, 2021, 9:15 a.m.

CAGC will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.

AGC Action Alert

August 23, 2021

Pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Tell your members of Congress and President Biden to act NOW!  

The latest: A record-setting construction investment bill—the bipartisan infrastructure bill—is on the 50-yard line, and you can bring it into the end-zone. But Speaker Pelosi is holding the bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage until she can pass a $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill. 
 
Why it matters: The bipartisan infrastructure bill represents the best chance to significantly invest in building and maintaining a broad range of physical infrastructure without unnecessarily burdening the construction industry with new taxes and workforce mandates. We cannot let this opportunity to enact it pass the construction industry by. 
 
The details: In addition to record federal investment in a broad range of construction projects, the bipartisan infrastructure bill:
  • Does NOT include new tax hikes on any construction firms;
  • Does NOT tie federal funding to the AGC-opposed PRO Act;
  • Does NOT tie federal funding to government-mandated project labor agreements;
  • Does NOT tie federal funding to local hire goals;
  • Does NOT put new restrictions on states’ ability to build new roads; and
  • INCLUDES sensible environmental review and permitting reforms put forth by former President Trump.
Despite having the opportunity to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will help the construction industry rebuild America, Speaker Pelosi is jeopardizing its passage because she wants to pass a $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill. In the “human” infrastructure bill, the speaker plans to:
  • Increase taxes on construction firms of nearly all types and sizes; 
  • Pass the greatest threat to union and open-shop construction firms—the PRO Act—in whole or in part; and 
  • Tie federal tax incentives to various workforce mandates on construction projects, among many other things.

What to do: Click the above button or this link to submit the pre-written message as is or customize it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your employer. Please do not forward this email. If you would like to send the alert to colleagues and friends, please wait for the instructions that will be included in the confirmation email sent to your inbox after taking action.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Facts

August 16, 2021
Courtesy Thom Tillis

August 12 Update from AGC

  • COMING SOON: UPDATED/MORE AGCA SUMMARIES OF BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCUTRE BILL: We’ve shared with you several summaries of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Tomorrow (8/12) we will share updates of those summaries as well as a new one from the perspective of a building contractor. We are also working on a one page summary of the money in the bill. Believe it or not, the figures and what they fund put forth by the bipartisan negotiators and reported widely are not as cut and dry as they’d lead you to believe. We’ll try to put things in perspective for the construction industry. At the end of the day, we continue to hold that this bill includes the record levels of federal investment in construction projects/types across-the-board.

 

  • SENATE (FINALLY) PASSES BIPARTISAN (PHYSICAL) INFRASTRUCTURE BILL:  The Senate passed the more than one trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill on a vote on 69-30. All 50 Senate Democrats were joined by 19 Senate Republicans, including: Roy Blunt (Mo.); Richard Burr N.C.); Bill Cassidy (La.); Shelley Moore Capito(W.Va.); Susan Collins (Maine); Kevin Cramer(N.D.); Mike Crapo (Idaho); Deb Fischer (Neb.); Lindsey Graham (S.C.); Chuck Grassley (Iowa); John Hoeven (N.D.); Mitch McConnell (Ky.); Lisa Murkowski (Alaska); Rob Portman (Ohio); Jim Risch (Idaho); Mitt Romney (Utah); Dan Sullivan (Alaska); Thom Tillis (N.C.); and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

 

    • WHATS NEXT FOR THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTRE BILL? ALL EYES ON SPEAKER PELOSI:

 

      • HOUSE COMES BACK WEEK OF AUGUST 23: Late yesterday (8/10), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) notified members of the House that they should return the week of August 23 for a vote on the budget resolution that begins the process for consideration of a $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill. The Majority Leader also noted that there could be another vote that week on another voting rights bill. What is not mentioned, however, is a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Speaker Pelosi promised that she needed the Senate to pass BOTH the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill before she would allow for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. It appears as though she plans to keep that promise. If that’s the case, it could take months for House and Senate Democrats to agree to actual legislative language (i.e., what is actually included in) the $3.5 trillion bill. Delay of a House vote after September will bring back the need for another extension of the FAST Act so the federal-aid highway and transit programs don’t shut down (see outlook section below on that).

 

      • WHAT AGCA IS DOING: AGC is working with construction and business stakeholder organizations to press for House passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. We will be reaching out to key congressional members to keep them on board with passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and we will loop in chapters for their help with those targeted congressional members. If Speaker Pelosi keeps her promise to tie the $3.5 trillion human infrastructure and the bipartisan infrastructure bills together, however, it could mean that no (or very, very few) Republicans in the House will support the bipartisan infrastructure bill. In turn, Speaker Pelosi would need almost every single Democrat to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, even many of the most progressive ones that have openly bashed it. Given that Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren voted for it in the Senate, there is political cover for such progressive House Democrats to vote for the bill.

SCDOT Statement on Federal Infrastructure Bill Progress

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The bipartisan federal infrastructure bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate and to soon be taken up by the U.S. House would greatly benefit SCDOT's efforts to improve the state's infrastructure and will integrate well with the agency's 10-Year Plan to upgrade South Carolina's road and bridge network.

SCDOT currently receives approximately $733 Million annually in federal road and bridge funding.   Under the bipartisan proposal, South Carolina is poised to receive over a 30% boost in federal road and bridge funding over the next five years.  This 30% boost translates into an estimated $1 Billion in additional federal funding directed to the state's road and bridge network over the five year period.  This additional funding will be key to addressing the remaining gaps in South Carolina's road and bridge program.  These gaps have previously been primarily identified as congestion relief projects, bridge projects and drainage projects.

"The bipartisan infrastructure plan passed by the U.S. Senate would enable SCDOT to boost investment in projects designed to improve safety, mobility and the quality of life for the residents, businesses and visitors in the Palmetto state," says South Carolina's Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall.  She added "I applaud the work of the U.S. Senate and look forward to working with our Congressional Delegation as this proposal makes its way through the legislative process.  The current plan provides the flexibility needed at the state level, streamlines project development and provides a reliable, stable funding stream for the next five years."

SCDOT will continue to monitor the proposal, proposed amendments and other adjustments that are typically made during the legislative process. 

In addition to the above figures, the infrastructure proposal also includes funding for transit, rail, and broadband deployment.

AGC Update: House Officials Should Quickly Pass Bipartisan Infrastructure Measure Approved Today By The Senate, Construction Official Urges

Take Action Updated: August 10, 2021, 2:00 p.m.

Construction Official Warns that Holding the Much-Needed Infrastructure Measure Hostage to Unrelated Partisan Priorities will Hurt the Economy and Deny Workers Good Career Opportunities

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the passage in the Senate today of a bipartisan infrastructure measure:

“The new infrastructure measure passed by the Senate today provides much-needed new federal investments in a wide range of infrastructure projects. These investments will help generate new demand for construction services, equipment, and materials. More important, the new investments will create high-paying construction career opportunities and help make our economy more efficient and competitive.

“Unfortunately, some members of the House want to delay action on the bipartisan measure until passing an unrelated, partisan, spending bill. The last thing Washington should do is hold a much-needed, bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage to partisan politics. Delaying action on the infrastructure measure will hurt the economy and deny workers opportunities to start high-paying construction careers. It is time to put people back to work instead of paying them to stay home. That is why we are urging the House to quickly pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and send it to the President for signature.”
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Associated General Contractors of America Summaries of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Update August 10, 2020, 9:00 a.m.


Below are several linked summaries of what’s in the bill for certain construction markets. We are continuing to work on resources for other construction markets—including the building construction market. These resources will be updated from time to time as we continue our deep dive to follow the money through 2,702 pages of text.

SENATE TO MOVE ON BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL THIS WEEK:  
Seriously this time… Either later today (Monday, August 9) or tomorrow (the morning of Tuesday, August 10) the U.S. Senate is expected to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill with more than 60 votes (and only 51 will be needed for final passage).  

    • DID ANY AMENDMENTS MAKE IT IN THAT WE LIKE OR DON’T LIKE? Short answer, no.
      • While some amendments made it into the bill, generally speaking, there’s not much to write home about those amendments from a construction industry perspective. When it came to amendments that the construction industry cares about—for better or worse—Republicans and Democrats could not reach an agreement on how to consider those amendments. As a result, it is unlikely that any amendments will be considered before the final vote to bass the bill. The key takeaway, however, is that the good and bad amendments for the construction industry will not go away and will likely see attempts to add them to any legislation that moves.

      • GOOD (AGCA-SUPPORTED) AMENDMENTS THAT WON’T MAKE IT IN
        • Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) have an amendment that would clearly allow for state and local governments to use their COVID relief funds (from the $350 billion state and local COVID recovery fund enacted under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act and CARES Act) towards the construction of highway, transit, and HUD construction projects—even if those projects have no connection to COVID or its negative impacts. (See AGC Comments on Treasury rules for what AGCA has been doing regulatorily on this).
        • Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) have an amendment that would provide eligibility for State DOTs to achieve carbon emission reductions under a new carbon reduction program through pavement procurement.
        • Sen. Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.) has an amendment that would establish Private Activity Bond (PAB) eligibilities for social infrastructure (public buildings, schools, so forth).

      • BAD (AGCA-OPPOSED) AMENDMENTS THAT WON’T MAKE IT IN
        • Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) have their own individual amendments that will place restrictions on the ability of state DOTs to build new roads.
        • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has an amendment that would require bridge contractors to use certified corrosion prevention contractors to apply or remove coatings/paint.

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE SENATE PASSES THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTRE BILL?

    • SENATE TO START PROCESS FOR $3.5 TRILLION “HUMAN” INFRASTRUCTURE BILL. As soon as the Senate passes the infrastructure bill, it will move to consider a FY 2022 budget resolution that will set up the process for passing a $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill, before leaving for August recess. The process that this step will start is called the budget reconciliation process that only requires simple majorities for passing fiscally centered—not policy centered—legislation (so no 60-vote threshold needed to beat back a filibuster in the Senate…long way of saying there’s no filibuster under this process).  This is how Congress passed the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and the 2017 Trump tax cuts. The substance of the legislation—how is it paid for and what will it fund—will be the topic of intra-party Democratic negotiations for the next several months. From a construction industry perspective, we’ll be watching out for significant tax increases on construction firms and efforts to include the PRO Act—in any way, shape or form—among other things.

 

    • HOUSE TO PASS BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN? Conventional wisdom in DC is that Speaker Pelosi will force her Democratic colleagues to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill without any changes to it. If she were to allow amendments, it is unlikely that it would pass the Senate a second time. With the president’s poll numbers dropping as COVID cases rise, the thought is that the president wants and needs a win sooner rather than later. This infrastructure bill can be that win. When exactly may the House vote on it? It’s unclear. Remember, Speaker Pelosi promised that she needed the Senate to pass BOTH the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill before she would allow for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Some speculate that she could allow for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill later in August if paired with the passing the budget resolution that starts the process on the human infrastructure bill. Stay tuned.  

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URGENT ACTION ALERT

Take Action Now!

Pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Tell your members of Congress and President Biden to act NOW! 

August 19, 2021

The latest:
A record-setting construction investment bill—the bipartisan infrastructure bill—is on the 50-yard line, and you can bring it into the end-zone. But Speaker Pelosi is holding the bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage until she can pass a $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill.

Why it matters:
The bipartisan infrastructure bill represents the best chance to significantly invest in building and maintaining a broad range of physical infrastructure without unnecessarily burdening the construction industry with new taxes and workforce mandates. We cannot let this opportunity to enact it pass the construction industry by. 

The details:
In addition to record federal investment in a broad range of construction projects, the bipartisan infrastructure bill:

  • Does NOT include new tax hikes on any construction firms;
  • Does NOT tie federal funding to the AGC-opposed PRO Act;
  • Does NOT tie federal funding to government-mandated project labor agreements;
  • Does NOT tie federal funding to local hire goals;
  • Does NOT put new restrictions on states’ ability to build new roads; and
  • INCLUDES sensible environmental review and permitting reforms put forth by former President Trump.
Despite having the opportunity to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will help the construction industry rebuild America, Speaker Pelosi is jeopardizing its passage because she wants to pass a $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill. In the “human” infrastructure bill, the speaker plans to:

  • Increase taxes on construction firms of nearly all types and sizes;
  • Pass the greatest threat to union and open-shop construction firms—the PRO Act—in whole or in part; and
  • Tie federal tax incentives to various workforce mandates on construction projects, among many other things.
What to do:
Click the above button or this link to submit the pre-written message as is or customize it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your employer. Please do not forward this email. If you would like to send the alert to colleagues and friends, please wait for the instructions that will be included in the confirmation email sent to your inbox after taking action.