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On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act, by a vote of 221-201. This $715 billion surface transportation reauthorization and water infrastructure bill represents House Democrats’ attempt to reauthorize the expiring 2015 FAST Act and implement partisan, anti-merit shop priorities in infrastructure spending.

Ahead of the vote, ABC strongly opposed the bill, sending a key vote letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives in opposition and urging ABC members to contact their members of Congress and tell them to oppose the legislation through an ABC Action Alert.

H.R. 3684 has already set dangerous precedents by elevating the registered apprenticeship program as the chosen method of workforce development, restricting competition from qualified contractors that choose not to be affiliated with a union programs and expanding Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements on critical projects. It was amended before final passage through the en bloc amendment process that prevents consideration of each amendment based on its individual merit and helps ensure support for controversial amendments, including an amendment from Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) that would mandate project labor agreements on authorized clean energy projects.

After the House passed H.R. 3684, ABC issued a news release slamming several anti-merit shop provisions of the bill. In the release, Kristen Swearingen, ABC vice president of legislative & political affairs, labeled the INVEST in America Act “a dangerous step in the wrong direction for America’s infrastructure.”

The $715 billion legislation is not expected to become law, as the U.S. Senate is currently working with the White House to support a bipartisan infrastructure framework that is reported to include the Senate’s bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization legislation, the ABC-supported Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021.

ABC will keep members updated about the ongoing infrastructure negotiations in Newsline.