Challenge Four

Congressional Threats and Regulatory Onslaught

2022 presented many legislative and regulatory challenges for the industry. There was a concerted effort by many in Congress to pass legislation that would have undermined years of labor stability in the construction industry. At the same time Congress made efforts to exclude construction from key guest worker visa programs and contemplated undermining the Highway Trust Fund. The Biden administration also sought to impose a number of new labor, safety and environmental measures that would have done little to protect workers or the environment, but a lot to harm the industry.

Opportunities Built

AGC Protects the Industry, Engages on Climate Change and Secures New Investments in Construction

(Middle Photo) AGC's Legislative and Regulatory Update, AGC Arranged for Member Jeff Firth to Testify in Congress, Members Face Growing Regulatory Challenges.

AGC of America was able to Stop the PRO Act in its tracks in 2022. The labor legislation, which would have, among other things, repealed every state’s right-to-work law and allowed unions to strike anywhere, at any time, and for any reason, came very close to getting passed in Congress. But AGC led the industry fight against the measure, ensuring the legislation never became law.

AGC of America’s combined legislative and legal efforts led to a Supreme Court ruling that Blocked a Mandatory Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standard by the Biden administration that would have done little to boost vaccination rates and instead tempt many vaccine-hesitant workers to switch to smaller employers who were exempted from the rule or leave the industry all together.

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We successfully blocked efforts to significantly limit the construction industry’s access to the only Worker Visa Program for construction workers, known as H-2B. In late December, AGC’s government affairs team learned of language in a measure to fund the federal government that would have set limits on construction firm’s access to the visa program. We worked with Congressional leadership to explain the need for workers in the industry and the challenges this precedent would pose. The final version of the funding bill passed without any language limiting construction firm’s access to the visa program.

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AGC’s government affairs team Beat Back Efforts to Raise Taxes on construction employers that were contemplated as Congress was working to finalize both the Build Back Better measure and the so-called Inflation Reduction Act.

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We also played a key role in Blocking Efforts to Suspend the Federal Gas Tax. We made the case on Capitol Hill that suspending the tax would have little impact on prices at the pump but would significantly undermine the nation’s ability to invest in bridges, highway, and transit systems.

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We secured Significant New Federal Construction Funding. This included securing $39 billion for new semiconductor chip plant construction as part of the CHIPS Act and nearly $300 billion in funding for green energy construction projects in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act.

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And a special AGC task force made the case that the construction industry is essential in building more efficient projects in the future. The task force’s recommendations will ensure that the construction industry – through AGC – will be involved in Shaping Climate Change Policy.

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Learn More About AGC’S Climate Change Efforts
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Supply Chain Challenges & Soaring Materials Prices

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