Why the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that Sens. Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer negotiated is still a bad deal for the construction industry.
On August 4, AGC announced its opposition to the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” as agreed to by Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer and outlined the association’s significant concerns to Congress. As written, the legislation would:
- Take the unprecedented step of tying construction labor mandates for qualified apprenticeships to tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The legislation would require apprentices to perform 15 percent of the total project hours by 2024 to be eligible for the full tax credit.
- Create new challenges for construction firms to fight climate change by placing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the center of environmental project declarations and low-embodied carbon labeling, and providing additional funding for environmental review that could hold up approval of construction projects.
- Further incentivize the purchases of electric vehicles without creating a mechanism for them to pay into the highway trust fund.
- Write a nearly $80 billion check to the Internal Revenue Service to boost “enforcement” (increase audits and reviews of taxpayer returns), while shortchanging customer service.
While many of the provisions in the original “Build Back Better Act,” such as raising tax rates on businesses organized as a corporation or “pass-through business,” were left out of the “Inflation Reduction Act,” AGC is still concerned about the remaining provisions and their potential impact on the industry. As such, AGC announced that we are reserving the right to key vote—or record elected officials’ votes for the education of AGC members—final passage of the legislation, or any amendments that would favorably address our concerns outlined in the letter.