House Passes $715 Billion Highway, Transit & Water Infrastructure BillOn July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act, a $715 billion federal investment in America’s roads, bridges, transit, passenger rail, and drinking and wastewater infrastructure. AGC lobbied against several of the policies included in the bill. However, its passage in the House is a first step towards enacting record levels of federal investment in infrastructure. It continues to remain unclear how this legislation will intersect with larger infrastructure package negotiations between the White House and a bipartisan group of senators. The AGC summary of the INVEST in America Act can be viewed here. AGC will continue to push for policy improvements to the bill.
Immigration Bill Introduced to Address Workforce Challenges in Construction
Despite the ongoing recovery from the pandemic, the construction industry is expected to experience low unemployment with little expectation that the current domestic workforce can alone meet future employment demand. Compounding the workforce challenges in the industry, currently the nation’s system provides the high-tech sector, agricultural businesses, and seasonal employers with options for legal, work authorized immigrants however it does not for the construction Industry. On June 30, the AGC-backed Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act was recently introduced in the House and would allow contractors to hire year-round construction guest workers, who otherwise have no legal immigration avenue; provide industries, like construction, access to new temporary workers while protecting American jobs; and, alleviate incentives for individuals to illegally enter the country.
AGC will continue to urge Congress to act on realistic, bipartisan immigration solutions such as border security and protecting the legal status of work authorized-Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.