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On July 29, ABC sent a letter to President Trump applauding him for issuing two executive orders, Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery and Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities, which will help to remove burdensome barriers to job creation and help the economy continue to rebound from the COVID-19 crisis.

On July 27, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Small Business Administration on an interim final rule changing key provisions of the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program and its loan forgiveness and loan review procedures.

On July 27, the Senate GOP finally released the HEALS Act, its $1 trillion coronavirus relief plan. This package is seen as a starting point for Republicans, teeing up what could be weeks of tough bipartisan negotiations with Democrats to provide much-needed relief in response to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. ABC will continue to provide updates on these negotiations as they move forward.

As many as 31 states and the District of Columbia now mandate the use of facial coverings in public in some form as new infections have surged across the United States in recent weeks. Some states, such as North Carolina and New Jersey, specifically mention the construction industry in their executive orders and require compliance with the order both by workers and jobsite visitors.

On July 15, Virginia became the first state in the nation to enact an Emergency Temporary Standard to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The ETS will go into effect at the end of July.

On July 22, The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422/ H.R. 1957), which was introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), by a vote of 310-107. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Trump. Ahead of the vote, ABC sent a

Since March, ABC has supported its members and chapters with an expansive array of information, guidance and advocacy to guide them through the current coronavirus pandemic.

On July 15, the Council on Environmental Quality issued a final rule on updating and modernizing its National Environmental Policy Act regulations.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published additional guidance to address the requirements and protections under several of the laws enforced by the agency as workplaces reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABC’s political action committee is hosting two upcoming meet and greet events featuring Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) on Tuesday, July 28, where ABC members will have the opportunity to hear a real-time legislative and political update. 

This week, Congress began working on the passage of additional COVID-19 relief for individuals and businesses. Negotiations will largely rely on the ability of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to produce a bill that both sides can agree on and that the president will sign.

On Thursday, July 30, ABC will continue its Election Briefing Series with an update from the Republican National Committee with special guest Elliot Echols, Trump Victory national field director. It will be followed by the South Central Region update on Thursday, Aug. 13.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a list of frequently asked questions with tips and guidelines on various topics related to the coronavirus.

Associated Builders and Contractors recently reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator rose to 8.1 months in June, an increase of 0.2 months from May’s reading. CBI is down approximately 8% from its June 2019 level. Every region except the Middle States experienced an increase in backlog in June compared to May, according to an ABC member survey conducted from June 20-July 1. 

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On July 8, ABC National’s government affairs team delivered a presentation to a group of Republican lieutenant governors on the issues affecting the construction industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual meeting, which was part of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association’s annual conference, was attended by more than a dozen sitting lieutenant governors and candidates running for the office in 2020.

On July 9, ABC sent a letter to House and Senate leadership in support of the Recharge and Empower Local Innovation and Entrepreneurs Fund for Main Street Act (S. 3742/H.R. 6907). The RELIEF for Main Street Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Reps. Kildee (D-Mich.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), would provide $50 billion in direct funding to states, cities and counties to help small and minority-owned businesses.

On June 30, the Trump administration released its Spring 2020 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and into 2021. ABC has prepared a summary of the actions of interest to ABC members by agency.

On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, on a mostly party line vote of 233 to 188, with three Republicans voting for the bill and two Democrats voting against it. The House Democrats’ infrastructure plan would spend more than $1.5 trillion on surface transportation, airport, school, housing, healthcare, energy, water and broadband infrastructure, however, it also includes numerous anti-merit shop provisions opposed by ABC.

On Monday, June 29, President Trump signed an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to revise their hiring criteria to focus on the skill set of an applicant, rather than academic credentials. The order requires federal agencies to revise and update outdated federal job qualification standards and candidate assessments, improving the quality and competency of the civil service.

On June 30, the Senate passed legislation by unanimous consent that would extend the application period for the small business Paycheck Protection Program through Aug. 8. The application period ended on June 30, and the bill still needs to be approved by the House and signed into law by President Trump.

Last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) signed legislation (SF 2338) that protects business owners and employees from COVID-19-related liability lawsuits. ABC of Iowa supported the bill, which protects business owners from coronavirus liability lawsuits while excepting lawsuits against individuals who recklessly or intentionally put others at risk.

Registration for ABC’s Election Series, powered by the Free Enterprise Alliance, is now open! The series kicks off on Thursday, July 16, and will run through Election Day, with two webinars scheduled per month. 

On June 25, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a compliance directive designed to ensure uniformity in inspection and enforcement procedures when addressing respirable crystalline silica exposures in general industry, maritime and construction.

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