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Priority Issue Briefs

Protecting the Right to Organize Act

President Joe Biden continues to back and support provisions in the ABC-opposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 842/S. 420), which would violate workers’ free choice and privacy rights, force unions on employees who have voted against such representation, cost millions of American jobs and threaten vital supply chains.

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Infrastructure

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.

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Fair and Open Competition on Taxpayer-Funded Federal and Federally Assisted Construction Projects

On Feb. 4, 2022, President Biden signed Executive Order 14063, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects. Once implemented following a rulemaking by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council that is expected to take months to complete, federal agencies will require that every prime contractor and subcontractor on a federal construction project of $35 million or more performed within the United States to sign a project labor agreement as a condition of winning a contract.

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Workforce Development

President Biden supports the House-passed and ABC-opposed National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 (H.R. 447), which would not achieve its goal of expanding apprenticeship opportunities, as it would further restrict small businesses’ ability to access federally registered apprenticeship programs, limit job opportunities in the construction industry and create additional obstacles for the construction industry to meet future workforce demand and needs.

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OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Mandate

On Jan. 13, 2022, ABC applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for reinstating the stay on DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applied to employers with 100 or more employees. On behalf of the construction industry, ABC filed one of the emergency appeals to the Supreme Court leading to this successful outcome.

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Federal Contractor COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

On Nov. 30, 2021, a Kentucky district court preliminarily enjoined the federal contractor COVID-19 vaccination mandate, but only for three states—Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

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Joint Employer

The ABC-opposed and House-passed PRO Act (H.R. 842/S. 420) includes a provision that dramatically expands the joint-employer standard under the NLRA, and the NLRB intents to issue a new proposed rulemaking on the joint-employer standard in 2022.

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Federal Contractor Minimum Wage

On Nov. 22, 2021, DOL issued its final rule implementing President Biden’s Executive Order 14026, Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors, which applies to all workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts. Effective Jan. 30, 2022, the minimum wage increased to $15 per hour.

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Waters of the United States

In 2019, the EPA under President Trump and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers repealed the ABC-opposed 2015 WOTUS rule and replaced it with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

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National Environmental Policy Act

In July 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality issued an ABC-supported final rule to modernize the federal environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act regulations.

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Coronavirus Relief for Construction Business

As the federal government has provided more than $6 trillion in relief funding to address the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, ABC advocated for and supported critical bipartisan policies enacted by the U.S. Congress. However, ABC also expressed concerns regarding the most recent $1.9 trillion legislation passed under budget reconciliation and signed into law without bipartisan support.

ABC now urges Congress and the administration to focus on critical policies that will ensure our nation’s construction industry remains strong and ready to lead the economic comeback.

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"Blacklisting" Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

On Aug. 24, 2016, the Obama administration issued the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (or “blacklisting”) final rule, which would have threatened federal contractors’ due process rights, injected unwarranted subjectivity and added needless and duplicative layers of bureaucracy into the federal acquisition process.

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Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements

Anti-competitive and costly government-mandated project labor agreements end open, fair and competitive bidding on contracts to build taxpayer-funded construction projects. Government-mandated PLAs discourage merit shop contractors from bidding on taxpayer-funded construction contracts and drive up costs by between 12% and 20%, which results in fewer infrastructure improvements and reduced construction industry job creation.

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Davis-Bacon Act/Prevailing Wage

President Biden’s March 2021 American Jobs Plan called on Congress to tie federal investments in infrastructure to prevailing wage regulations via the 90-year-old Davis-Bacon Act.

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National Labor Relations Board

Immediately after taking office, President Biden fired incumbent NLRB general counsel Peter Robb, a move without precedent since the establishment of the Independent Office of General Counsel to the NLRB in 1947.

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Immigration Reform

On Feb. 18, 2021, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 (H.R. 1177/S. 348) to implement President Biden’s proposal on immigration reform.

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Energy/Environment

The commercial and industrial construction industry has a unique interest in energy policy, as it is not only a large-scale energy consumer, but also acts as a key facilitator of domestic energy exploration, production and transportation.

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Health Care

Providing quality health care benefits is a top priority for ABC and its member companies. ABC continues to advocate for policies that would ensure employer-sponsored coverage is strengthened and remains a viable, affordable option for millions of hardworking Americans and their families.

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Independent Contractors

The ABC-opposed and House-passed PRO Act (H.R. 842/S. 420) includes a provision making it significantly more difficult for a worker to operate as an independent contractor.

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OSHA Reform

ABC is committed to promoting healthy and safe work environments. ABC understands the importance of common-sense regulations based on sound evidence and scientific analysis with appropriate consideration paid to implementation costs and input from employers. Many ABC companies have implemented safety programs that are among the best programs in the industry, often far exceeding legal requirements.

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Regulatory Reform

ABC is committed to reforming the broken federal regulatory process and ensuring industry stakeholders' voices are heard and rights are protected.

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Right to Secret Ballot Election

Currently, the preferred method for determining whether employees want union representation is a secret ballot election, overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

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Right to Work

Employees in 27 states enjoy the benefits of right-to-work laws prohibiting employers from requiring employees to join unions as a condition of employment, incentivizing competition and producing a better work environment for businesses and workers.

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Salting Abuse

Salting is not merely an organizing tool—it has become an instrument of economic destruction aimed at nonunion companies.

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Tax Reform

President Biden’s ABC-opposed partisan budget reconciliation package, formally titled the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), passed the House on Nov. 19, 2021, by a vote of 220-213.

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