Legislative News

Washington Report: A New Year, a New Congress

by Patty Power, ACPA Washington Advocate

2022 is coming to a close, as is the 117th Session of Congress and the first half of the Biden administration.

Washington Report: Congress Passes Significant Legislation

As summer activity winds down in Washington in early August and federal legislators return to their states and districts to visit with their constituents, and in some cases campaign for the upcoming midterm elections, we have a chance to reflect on this session of Congress to date, and to look ahead through the rest of the year.

Washington Report: ACPA Goes to Capitol Hill

In April, we joined our fellow cement and concrete industry groups for the Washington Fly-In, in person for the first time in a couple of years. In dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill, ACPA’s seven participants made the case for the Concrete Pump Tax Fairness Act; against favorable treatment for mass timber construction; for federal workforce support for technical training; and against short-term reductions in the federal gas tax.

Washington Report: Infrastructure Week

For years, “This is infrastructure week!” was the cry from Washington, involving a constant outreach to federal policymakers and legislators stressing the importance of maintaining our nation’s existing infrastructure while building the twenty-first century infrastructure needed to compete globally. After too many meetings, hearings, bill drafts, mark-ups and floor debates over the years, we finally did it. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was signed into law last November.

Washington Report: Infrastructure!

Infrastructure Week has finally arrived! After years of lobbying in support of federal investments, leadership in Washington finally heard the construction industry and its many partners. The $1.2 trillion federal investment will be matched by significant state and local government investment, increasing the economic benefit over time. President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law on November 15, 2021.

Washington Report: Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

As the magazine goes to press, Washington enters yet another “Infrastructure Week.” Yes, another, but this time is different. The Senate and the White House negotiated the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, the Senate voted repeatedly to consider the legislation to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, and we now await their action of the legislative language. The House of Representatives passed the INVEST Act last month. The House bill is similar in size and scope to the Senate Bipartisan approach, but takes a different approach on a number of programs.

Washington Report: The 2021 Annual Cement and Concrete Fly-In

Due to pandemic restrictions, this year’s Fly-In was virtual. We traded dashing around Capitol Hill for signing in and out of Zoom and Go-To meetings and calls.

Washington Report: A New Year, a New Administration

January marked the beginning of the New Year, the 117th Congress, and the Biden-Harris Administration. While there have already been many changes with these new starts, the growing challenges of living with the coronavirus is not one of them, unfortunately. COVID-19 continues to drive government activity at all levels across the country. With 500,000 dead expected by the end of February, meeting public health needs is paramount. Vaccine distribution is the bright light at the very long tunnel. However, social distancing requirements necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 continue to negatively affect our economy and our citizens.

Washington Report: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

As we prepare to leave 2020, the view in the rearview mirror is cloudy. By all measures, this has been a tough year. The upheaval to our way of life caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic—particularly the heavy cost to hundreds of thousands American families who lost loved ones—will continue through 2021. The medical community’s predictions of increasing infections and deaths are coming true. Dr. Fauci now says we may reach 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths by March 2021. Mitigation measures needed to limit the virus’s spread will continue to disrupt the economy. While it is hard to foresee recovery when still facing such hard times, the remarkable success seen in developing and approving a number of vaccines is a true bright spot. While it will take months to vaccinate enough Americans to create effective herd immunity and allow our society to start the recovery process, we can see the end from here.

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.