Government Affairs

Support Grows for Infrastructure Funding

President Donald J. Trump and Congressional leaders have expressed strong support infrastructure investment as part of the proposed phase 4 emergency relief funding from the federal government.

In an evening post Tuesday on Twitter, the President wrote: “With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA-1),  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also have expressed support for infrastructure investment.

Senate EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) also tweeted Tuesday night, “In the Senate, we have a bipartisan bill that will invest billions in America’s highways and is ready to go. Our bill will cut red tape so projects can get done better, faster, cheaper, and smarter.”

Speaker Pelosi held a call yesterday with reporters (and industry officials, including Jerry Voigt) and outlined proposed funding for a phase 4 economic rescue package, which would include infrastructure construction, drinking water, energy and broadband Internet. House T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) expressed support for the President’s proposal and disappointment with Republican Senate and House leaders, who have suggested waiting to see what the CARES Act, signed into law last Friday.

“Rebuilding puts people and workers first,” Chairman DeFazio says. “We have to have a better system for the future. We need to be prepared for the next major threat – climate change. If we are going to rebuild, then let’s build it a way that is more resilient, with material that produces less carbon dioxide.”

Chairman DeFazio also comments, “We need to keep the construction workers going…don’t slow down the payroll.” He cites green transportation construction options, including concrete, reducing the footprint with new mixes, etc.

Speaker Pelosi says that although the CARES Act (signed into law last week) includes $25B for transportation, there is a need for more funding. “This is a bill that is a long time in coming,” she says, adding this is a bill “for the people.”  She also says the Buy America provision will be included in the bill.

According to a report in THE HILL today, there is no broad agreement among Democrats what the infrastructure funding would be, “But the still-evolving legislation will build on a $760 billion infrastructure proposal unveiled by the Democrats in January.”

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CISA Expands List of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

As reported in ACPA TODAY last week, ACPA and an ad hoc group of associations and other organizations called on President Donald J. Trump and other key federal and state government officials urging their support for considering infrastructure construction as an essential service.

As a result of this effort and other actions, the Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has amended its “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers during COVID-19 Response.” 

The guidance is significant because several governors factored the memo in classifying  “essential” industries or businesses, which they as a result designated as exempt from stay-at-home orders.

The revised memo notes the list is advisory in nature, not a federal directive or standard. It is also not considered an all-inclusive list. It also reiterates the fact that state officials–generally governors–have the final say in determining “essential” status in their respective states.

The revised guidance encompasses 17 categories and has added many new work areas. These include:

Transportation and Logistics
This category includes workers:

  • Supporting the maintenance and operation of essential highway infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and tunnels.
  • Responsible for repairing and maintaining equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.

Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
This category includes workers:

  • Who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, etc.
  • Workers who support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of and access to needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications.

Critical Manufacturing
This category includes workers needed for:

  • The manufacturing of metals (including steel and aluminum), industrial minerals, semiconductors, materials and products needed… for supply chains associated with transportation…
  • Maintaining the continuity of these manufacturing functions and associated supply chains, and workers necessary to maintain a manufacturing operation in warm standby.
  • Mining and production of critical minerals, materials and associated essential supply chains, and workers engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary for mining production and distribution.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

 

TCC Cancels Fly-In

As we reported last week, the COVID-19 crisis has impacted a number of meetings and events scheduled for the next couple of months. 

We received word Tuesday the 2020 TCC Fly-In has been canceled. 

According to ARTBA, anyone registered for the event will be refunded their registration fee. The Grand Hyatt will automatically cancel room reservations. For additional information, please contact Ed Tarrant at 202. 834.6089.

The event was originally scheduled for May 12-14 in Washington, DC.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

Please Contact Your Governor Today Immediately!

 

ACPA is once again asking for your help with a grassroots advocacy effort. 

Along with other transportation-construction organizations–NAPA, NRMCA, NSSGA and PCA–we are urging all members, affiliates, and staff members to contact their Governor today to urge them to classify highway, airport and roadway construction as essential activities.

As our local, state and federal leaders work to mitigate economic impacts across the country, we need to let them know that the highway construction industry must be designated as an essential industry to ensure that transportation projects vital to our economy and our ability to fight COVID-19 continue uninterrupted. 

Click this link or to send a pre-written letter to your Governor, or to edit the letter to reflect any particular concerns in your state. 

Also, please feel free to share this call-to-action with others in your company to urge their support and assistance. The success of this and any grassroots effort is largely a function of spreading the word and asking for help from colleagues, friends and other associates! 


American Concrete Pavement Association
200 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20001

 

NOTE: The link above should open directly to the advocacy page, which includes a link to a letter (at the bottom of the page).  Click here if the link above does not work:  https://construction-joint-essential-service.mmp2.org/engage/essential-service

ACPA Rapidly Mobilizes Advocacy Efforts

As federal and state government officials declared war on the pandemic sweeping the world, they moved quickly to isolate and contain the spread of the virus, introducing terms such as lockdowns, shelter-in-place and other terms that have are impacting personal mobility, business and industry and our whole way of life.

Starting last week, ACPA was assembling resources and launching a broad and comprehensive information and advocacy campaign to inform and influence public officials of the urgent need to classify infrastructure construction as an essential activity. This effort also was aimed  at informing members, customers and others that in spite of working remotely, ACPA national and chapter affiliates stand ready to serve association members and agencies and other customers.

“This was not about business as usual,” says Jerry Voigt. “It’s about continuing our business in the face of adversity during these very challenging times.”

In the ensuing hours and days ACPA, working in partnership with our NACA allies, launched a grass-roots advocacy effort to enlist the aid of members to join in the initiative to classify our business as essential. ACPA also produced and released the first in a series of video special reports aimed at informing members of our actions, and where appropriate, asking them to engage in calls to action.

ACPA, along with PCA, NRMCA, and NSSGA launched a second grass-roots effort today, urging industry representatives to send preformatted (or customized) letters to state governors. 

These are among ACPA’s highest priority activities that have the aim of supporting and advancing our industry through the current challenges.  As Jerry explains, ACPA has refocused priorities to address the current crisis situation, while also keeping our business moving ahead. It’s the right thing to do; we are fully committed to the effort; and we remain confident that a bright future lies ahead.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

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