Washington Report: ACPA Goes to Capitol Hill

“ACPA traveled to Washington to make the case for
several initiatives important to the concrete industry.“


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. The members of Congress and their staff expressed appreciation to the Fly-In attendees for coming to Washington personally to deliver these messages. See the Fly-In article in this magazine issue for more details.

ACPA continues to work with Congress to secure passage of the Concrete Pump Tax Fairness Act. Since this topic was last addressed in this column, by working with bill sponsors we have refined the approach to allow concrete pumps to pay federal fuel tax only on the fuel they use on the road, in the same way all other vehicles pay this use tax.

To avoid complicated monitoring and recordkeeping, the current approach allows concrete pumpers to claim 55 percent of the federal fuel tax paid for an annual tax credit. The 55 percent reflects the industry average of the overall percentage of fuel used in PTO, based on an ACPA study in 2006. We are working to get the bill introduced this summer.

The timber industry continues its aggressive push to incorporate federal pilot programs to promote tall-wood buildings, as well as federal procurement preferences for mass-timber construction materials. ACPA continues to work with the National Ready Mix Concrete Association and other construction associations that share our concern about Congress picking winners and losers by establishing construction material preferences solely designed to promote a particular industry. Bypassing established design and engineering construction methods to address sustainability is the wrong way to approach the issue.

In the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, a pilot program was established for the Defense Department’s use of sustainable construction materials. The timber industry sought this pilot program for the use of mass timber only. As a result of working with our congressional supporters, the timber industry’s request was replaced with a materials-neutral sustainable construction program. We are defending this materials-neutral approach again this year.

As inflation and the war in Ukraine impact fuel prices and concerns grow over potential “price-gouging” at the fuel pump, Congress considered legislation to suspend collection of the federal fuel excise tax for a period of time, as well as to limit “excessive” fuel price increases during an energy emergency.

As you may have experienced, a number of governors suspended the collection of their state fuel tax to ease the pressure on consumers. The House passed a bill to address potential price gouging along party lines. This bill is not expected to pass the Senate. We may see additional legislation if the pump price increases continue.

After fighting for many years to increase federal spending for infrastructure projects across the country, such as road and bridges, the construction industry is united in opposition to cutting the funding of the Highway Trust Fund, which is supported by the federal fuel tax.

Federal funds authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IILA) are being distributed from the Department of Transportation and many other federal departments and agencies by allocation to state departments of transportation and by competitive grants to eligible entities all over the country.

Billions of dollars have flowed since the IIJA was signed by the president in November 2021 and the fiscal year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations bill was enacted in March 2022. These funds, most of which will be matched by state and local governments, may fund infrastructure construction projects in your areas and provide contracting opportunities for your company.

Finally, both the House and the Senate are on track to complete a 2022 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which is the biennial legislation that authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction projects. We will monitor these bills as the congressional session continues and we expect that it will be finalized by the end of the year. Like the IIJA, the WRDA bill may provide contracting opportunities for your company.