Tag Archive for 'Senate'

ARTBA President & CEO Statement on the Passage of House Transportation Bill

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Pete Ruane issued the following statement about the House passage of its multi-year highway and transit bill:

“The U.S. House of Representatives accomplished something today that it has not done in a decade: passage of a highway and transit bill that is more than two years in duration. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio deserve enormous credit for making it happen and in such a bipartisan manner.

“The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act helps end the eight-year cycle of short-term funding patches. It contains important provisions that renew focus on roadway infrastructure safety, improve the speed and efficiency in which projects are completed, and increase transparency in how the public’s tax dollars are invested.

“The bill, however, does not provide close to the investment levels the federal government says are necessary to maintain, let alone, improve conditions on the nation’s highways, bridges, and transit systems. And it does not include a long-term revenue solution for the beleaguered Highway Trust Fund.

“We urge members of the House and Senate to increase the investment levels in the final proposal that emerges from the conference committee. Absent a permanent Highway Trust Fund fix, the measure should also establish a bicameral, congressional task force with deadlines and consequences for Congress to finally develop a long-term plan to stabilize highway and public transit funding. Only then will America be able to begin building an infrastructure network that drives economic growth and boosts competitiveness in a 21st century global marketplace.”

New York Times 

Highway bill is approved by House

A six-year transportation-funding bill valued at more than $300 billion passed the House on Thursday with a vote of 363-64. The measure, which includes reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, will be reconciled with one that passed the Senate; a conference report is needed by Nov. 20. The House bill does not establish a permanent funding solution for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and provides funds for only the first three years.

For the full New Your Times article: Click here

Leading Associations Support Repeal of 3% Withholding Ask Senate to Join

Repeal Of 3% Withholding Passes House

The House voted on October 27th to repeal the three percent withholding rule on certain payments made to vendors by government entities is moving in both Houses of Congress.  The House approved H.R. 674 by a vote of 405-16.  The bill as voted on also includes an offset to pay the cost of repealing 3% withholding, even though ASCE and most observers believe the original provision would generate little or no additional revenue.

As enacted by the House, the measure repeals Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-222) as Section 3402(t) of the Internal Revenue Code, which mandates that federal agencies, states, and certain local governments withhold three percent of nearly all of their contract payments.  Specifically, the Section requires withholdings at a rate of 3% on all government payments for products and services made by the federal government, as well as state and local governments, with contracting expenditures of $100 million or more.  If not repealed, the measure would take effect on January 1, 2013.  Repeal of this unnecessary and costly provision will benefit not only the engineering and business communities, but state and local governments which would otherwise be forced to implement the costly program.

ASCE strongly supports repeal and has worked closely with our coalition partners to advance this legislation.  Thanks to the hundreds of ASCE members who responded to the Key Alert and contacted their members of Congress to support this legislation.  The focus now shifts to the Senate which will hopefully take up the measure shortly. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) has called a press conference for Tuesday, November 1st, to highlight the need for the Senate to act on this issue.  The Obama Administration has endorsed repeal of the three percent withholding requirement.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

ABC applauded final passage of the 3 percent withholding tax repeal measure by the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation amends the Internal Revenue Code to undo the 3 percent withholding tax requirement for government contractors:

“We applaud the House for its leadership on this important issue, and are heartened to see a wide bipartisan majority come together to repeal this job-killing tax on America’s business community, especially construction contractors,” said ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr.

“We are hopeful that the Senate will move quickly to pass this bill and send it to the president who has already voiced his support,” Burr said.