On Nov. 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides $550 billion in new funding to invest in America’s roads, bridges, utilities and other needs on top of baseline government infrastructure spending via existing programs and annual appropriations. Much of the IIJA funding will be distributed to states and localities and other stakeholders through discretionary grant programs; however, the Biden administration continues to promote pro-labor policies tied to IIJA dollars.
As the bill made its way through Congress, ABC continued to advocate for merit shop priorities in the legislation, ultimately remaining neutral on the passage of the IIJA. Although the IIJA does not include project labor agreement mandates, the bill does include an expansion of Davis-Bacon requirements and other provisions of concern to ABC.
The IIJA creates an opportunity to effectively modernize our nation’s most critical infrastructure, and ABC stands ready to do the important work to bring America’s infrastructure into the 21st century. However, ABC remains wary of some of the bill’s exclusionary provisions and statements from the Biden administration that could restrict the eligibility of America’s workers to compete for and participate in these construction projects.
As the Biden administration begins to implement the IIJA, ABC and industry stakeholders will continue to support the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1284/S. 403), which would prevent the federal government from mandating PLAs as a condition of winning federal or federally assisted construction contracts. ABC members are encouraged to visit the ABC Action Center and urge their members of Congress to support FOCA.