On Feb. 26, ABC sent a letter calling on Congress to consider how its infrastructure investment agenda could impact merit shop contractors and the small business community during a hearing titled Moving America’s Infrastructure Forward. Convened by U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business’ Contracting and Infrastructure Subcommittee, the hearing was timed to coordinate with the recent release of Democrats’ $760 billion infrastructure investment framework, the Moving Forward Framework.  

In the letter, ABC urged Congress to find appropriate funding and financing for the plan, thoughtfully improve the permitting process to enable timely execution on infrastructure projects, maintain and enhance the construction workforce and safeguard a diverse supply chain. In addition, ABC advised that all contracts in a potential infrastructure package should be awarded through a fair and competitive bidding process that allows qualified union and nonunion contractors to compete on a level playing field based on merit, experience, quality and safety.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is continuing the push for a bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bill, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, which would authorize $287 billion from the Highway Trust Fund over five years. The Senate reauthorization includes an ABC-supported section on workforce development that allows states greater flexibility to address surface transportation workforce development, training and education needs.

The House and Senate committees of jurisdiction are now tasked with the responsibility of crafting the legislative language and allocating funding for their respective infrastructure plans. It will require bipartisan support in order to get a bill to the president’s desk.

ABC will continue to track and report on administration and congressional infrastructure news in Newsline.