Politics and Policy
In a Dec. 19, 2017 Newsline article, ABC reported that the Republican majority members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled the board’s 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries and returned to the previous joint employer standard that was in place for more than 30 years. The reversal was a victory for employers nationwide. However, on Feb. 26, the NLRB moved to vacate a recent joint employer decision (Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors Ltd.) and as a result, the board’s December action on the Browning-Ferris Industries is of no force or effect.
On Feb. 15, ABC joined the Coalition to Save Local Business in a letter to Senate Leadership recommending that the Senate take up and pass H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act. H.R. 3441 will restore the “joint employer” standard that has been in place for over 30 years, bringing stability back into the economy for contractors and subcontractors across the country.
Overall construction input prices increased 1.1 percent in January, reversing a slight decline in December 2017, according to an ABC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Compared to this time last year, overall construction materials prices are up 4.9 percent. Nonresidential construction materials prices are up 4.7 percent year over year and up 1 percent on a monthly basis.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website, the OFCCP mailed 1,000 Corporate Scheduling Announcement letters (CSAL) to federal contractor establishments on Feb. 1. The CSAL is a notification to an establishment that has been selected by the Federal Contractor Selection System to undergo a compliance evaluation during the scheduling cycle.
On Feb. 12, President Donald Trump announced the release of his administration’s infrastructure proposal. ABC President and CEO Michael D. Bellaman issued the following statement on the president’s infrastructure plan: “ABC applauds the president for sending Congress a plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure. It is now time for lawmakers to develop legislation and policy to efficiently modernize America’s infrastructure and drive economic growth and prosperity for all Americans."
This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring the immigration debate to the floor through an open and unlimited amendment process that could subject senators on both sides of the aisle to politically tough votes. Through this process, a 60-vote threshold will be required for passage of any proposal.
On Feb. 9, shortly before the White House released its 2019 budget request, both chambers of Congress passed, and the president signed, a funding agreement that sets a budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The deal will raise federal spending caps by $300 billion in 2018 and 2019 and suspend the debt limit until 2019.
Eight of the nation's top 25 construction companies are ABC members, according to Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) recently published annual list of Top 600 Specialty Contractors. These successful contractors were ranked based on 2017 revenue.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) President and CEO Michael D. Bellaman issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s infrastructure proposal: “ABC applauds the president for sending Congress a plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure. It is now time for lawmakers to develop legislation and policy to efficiently modernize America’s infrastructure and drive economic growth and prosperity for all Americans.
On Feb. 6, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule adding an applicability date of Feb. 6, 2020 to the 2015 rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The agencies finalized the rule in order to provide the regulated community clarity and certainty about which definition of WOTUS is applicable nationwide.