Legislative News

Washington Report: What Else Will 2020 Bring?

When thinking about what to write for this issue, I kept coming back to, “What’s coming next?” This has been a tough year, with waves of major disruptors. Business needs certainty to plan for a strong future, and the country needs stability to support its citizens in their communities. The American people need stability and certainty to create a fruitful future for their families. Yet this year lacks both certainty and stability.

Washington Report: Crisis and the Construction Industry

While the country continues to be consumed by the historic crises facing our nation—the coronavirus pandemic public health threat, the economic downturn created by the pandemic’s mitigation measures and the nationwide protests calling for racial equality—Washington works on each of these issues. Congress is expected to pass more COVID legislation this month, and the administration continues to implement the trillions of dollars of programmatic funding Congress passed in March and April. Of great interest to the ACPA is recent activity in both the House and Senate on infrastructure programs. We’ll touch on the pandemic economic issues and the legislative movement on infrastructure.

Washington Report: COVID-19 and the CARES Act

The novel coronavirus plaguing the world has generated an unprecedented response in its scope, size, and speed within Washington. Between March 6 and March 27, Congress passed, and the president signed, three laws to provide relief directly to individuals, businesses and local governments with a total price tag over $2.3 trillion. On March 13, President Trump declared a national state of emergency, which opened up to $50 billion in additional funding and regulatory waivers needed to allow swift government action. Many states have requested and received “major” emergency declarations from the White House, releasing even more resources and regulatory relief.

Washington Report: Passing the Baton

As this decade ends, ACPA’s Washington representation has changed. ACPA’s long-time lead advocate, Craig Piercy, has left Bose Public Affairs Group to lead the American Nuclear Society. Patty Power, who started working on ACPA issues nearly four years ago, has taken the mantle from Craig. She started her career in Washington immediately after graduating law school over 35 years ago, and worked on Capitol Hill and in the Administration before launching her career as an advocate. While working closely with Craig over the past few years, Patty has led on ACPA’s interface with North American Concrete Alliance (NACA), dealing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on hours of service issues, the Concrete Pump Tax Fairness Act, and lobbying Congress on infrastructure-related issues. The transition will be seamless, even though we will miss Craig!

A Farewell from Craig Piercy, ACPA Washington Advocate

After almost 15 years as the association’s Washington advocate, Craig Piercy is stepping down to take a new position.

Washington Report: Policymaking Admidst a Firestorm

Unless you are just returning from a one-month expedition to Antarctica, you know that Washington is in a Category 5 political firestorm over President Trump’s withholding of military assistance to Ukraine in exchange for acquiring damaging political information on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Events are moving fast. What I write now will probably be overtaken by events before you read it. Without rehashing the facts of the case, it certainly seems at this juncture that we are headed for impeachment proceedings in the House and some form of trial in the Senate.

Washington Report: The Coming Debate About Concrete and Climate Change

The second of two Democratic presidential candidate debates in June will be best remembered for Senator Kamala Harris’s “leg-sweep” of Joe Biden over his opposition to school busing in the 1970s. However, it was an exchange between moderator Rachel Maddow and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper later in the evening which made my ears perk up.

Washington Report: Mueller, Drugs, Deficits and Infrastructure

As I write this column, political Washington is still coming to terms with the notion that Robert Mueller and his team did not find evidence of collusion between the Trump administration and the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. While the report itself has not been released to the public, it is becoming reasonable to assume that House impeachment proceedings are not in our immediate future.

Washington Report: Key Questions for 2019

The 2018 election came and went largely according to polling predictions. Democrats gained enough seats to earn a majority in the U.S. House, adding 40 seats to their membership to accumulate 235 Democratic members. By comparison, Republicans are expected to have 199 members in the new session.

ACPA Announces HOS Exemption

The American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA) is pleased to announce a significant victory for concrete pumpers. On Nov. 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), granted the ACPA’s request for an exemption for concrete pumpers from the requirement that short-haul drivers utilizing the records of duty status (RODS) exception return to their normal work-reporting location 12 hours from coming on duty.

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