On June 22, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) was joined by six other Democratic House committee chairs in a press conference releasing the Democratic Infrastructure Bill, H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.
The release of H.R. 2 came just days after the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the INVEST in America Act, a five-year, nearly $500 billion transportation reauthorization, after a two-day markup. The INVEST in America Act serves as the surface transportation sections of H.R. 2, bringing the total proposed infrastructure investment to more than $1.5 trillion.
ABC, which sent a letter to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee detailing concerns about the INVEST in America Act, was disappointed to see that the merit shop construction industry’s priorities were not included in the larger Moving Forward Act. The bill also included several harmful provisions that would expand discriminatory government-mandated project labor agreements, apply flawed and inflationary Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements and fail to recognize the widespread success of industry-recognized apprenticeship programs.
In response to the release of H.R. 2, ABC sent a letter opposing the anti-competitive mandates in the bill, urging Congress to consider several changes to the legislation, including reducing costly and ineffective regulations, increasing competition and addressing the construction industry’s skilled worker shortage, all of which can help bring critical construction projects to market in a more economical and efficient manner.
While ABC expressed support for increased funding for infrastructure programs, the letter called for the path forward on infrastructure to be rooted in fair and open competition and equal opportunity —not mandates that would leave Americans out of the opportunity to rebuild their communities.
ABC will continue to update members on the developments of transportation and infrastructure legislation in Newsline.