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AGC Legislative Update January 2014 Brian J. Lenihan Director, Tax, Fiscal Affairs, and Accounting Associated General Contractors of America 202.547.4733.

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Presentation on theme: "AGC Legislative Update January 2014 Brian J. Lenihan Director, Tax, Fiscal Affairs, and Accounting Associated General Contractors of America 202.547.4733."— Presentation transcript:

1 AGC Legislative Update January 2014 Brian J. Lenihan Director, Tax, Fiscal Affairs, and Accounting Associated General Contractors of America |

2 AGC Financial Issues Forum Winter Meeting Federal Issues Update for 2014

3 AGC Financial Issues Forum Winter Meeting Odd-numbered years, lawmakers spend more time in the Capitol and traditionally see the heavy lifting of legislative scut work. More votes are cast and about two-thirds of all bills are introduced. During this even-numbered year, legislating time will be interrupted by the usual district work periods plus an additional five-week election break (House in session for 112 days). Large bills ready for floor action (i.e. WRRDA & Farm) may be the only trains moving. Senate Majority Leader executed an unprecedented party-line rules change, limiting filibusters, Republicans erupted and warned of spillover effects this year. House Majority Leader outlined an agenda that was vague. Several outstanding issues may be brought to the floor over the next few months, including: the intelligence authorization, flood insurance, as well as legislation related to trade and immigration. View of the Landscape

4 AGC Financial Issues Forum Winter Meeting Appropriations Lawmakers return to Washington this week, facing an extremely abbreviated timeline to move a $1.012 trillion spending package, which would cover government operations through September 30. Appropriators plan on moving as quickly as possible in the days ahead in order to limit opposition and meet strict deadlines to pass an omnibus which would allocate the top-line level among the 12 individual spending bills that fund all discretionary programs for fiscal 2014 – clearing the deck for policy fights over FY15. January 15 is the deadline for when the current continuing resolution expires and triggers another government shutdown. AGC advocating for reversing $4 billion in sequestration cuts to federal construction programs, lifting of current prohibition on new projects and fully funding federal transportation programs.

5 AGC Financial Issues Forum Winter Meeting Treasury Secretary Lew has said that his department can avoid default on the $17.3 trillion federal debt for about a month after the suspension of the debt ceiling ends on February 7 Senate Minority Leader McConnell stated that he couldnt imagine that the party would back an increase in the debt limit without demanding some conditions. House Republicans will work on their debt-limit strategy during the partys retreat in Cambridge, Maryland, January Part of their discussion will involve concessions they may seek to extract from the White House and Senate Democrats. Debt Limit

6 AGC Financial Issues Forum Winter Meeting Immigration Reform Senate comprehensive bill passed June 13 (14 GOP Senators Supported) Met AGC principles: Earned legalization for existing workers; No vicarious liability; Maintain knowing standard; Limit debarment as penalty/keep FAR stds; Federal preemption; E-verify for new hires Bill failed to provide a workable guest worker program/future flow (Caps 15,000/year for construction only) House GOP leadership will not hold vote on senate bill, opting for piecemeal approach Bills that have passed House Committees include: Border Security; Mandatory E- Verify System for Employers for All New Hires; High-Skilled Visas; Interior Enforcement; Agricultural Guestworker Program Bills under development: Low-Skilled Visa program and DREAM Act like. House Timing – later part of the Spring? (after budget and debt limit debates and after 2014 GOP primary season)

7 AGC Financial Issues Forum Winter Meeting AGC continues to lobby with Building & Construction Trades Department, (BCTD) Legislative language being drafted (based on 18 month joint labor/mgmt commission) Technical corrections to PPA (sunsets Dec. 14) Tools for Deeply Troubled Plans including benefit suspensions (most controversial) New plan design (hybrid model between DC and DB plans) Seeking congressional champions Dems wary that they are supporting benefit cuts GOP wary that it is union bailout Some non-BCTD labor groups and AARP opposing b/c of benefit cuts Hope for enactment by end of year Pension Reform

8 AGC Financial Issues Forum Winter Meeting Questions Brian J. Lenihan Director, Tax, Fiscal Affairs, and Accounting Associated General Contractors of America |


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