Welcome State Leaders

Report
ACEC Deep South Convention
Federal Issues Briefing
Steve Hall
Vice President
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
The 113th Congress
2013 mired in political gridlock, culminating
in a government shutdown last Fall.
Towards the end of the year, progress:
Two-year budget deal replaced sequestration.
Appropriations bill to implement the agreement
passed by wide margins.
Debt ceiling extension cleared to March 2015.
Infrastructure continues to be the catalyst
for bipartisan cooperation.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Water Resources Reform and
Development Act (WRRDA)
Congress cleared the conference report for
WRRDA: Senate vote 91-7, House 412-4.
Authorizes $12.3 billion in new Corps projects,
includes reforms to streamline project delivery.
Includes new innovative financing program
(WIFIA) for water projects, expands QBS to the
State Revolving Fund (SRF) program.
Includes National Levee Safety Program,
addresses liability concerns.
Includes language to promote contracting out.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Other Water Issues
Water Trust Fund bill introduced (HR 3582).
HR 4237, expands use of Private Activity Bonds
(PABs) for water projects; will raise $5 billion per
year to support water projects.
Both White House and proposed House tax reform
legislation propose to limit tax-favored status of
private activity bonds and municipal bonds.
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Energy
ACEC backs “all of the above” energy plan.
Keystone XL Pipeline:
State Dept EIS concluded no significant climate impact;
Administration announced recently a further delay
pending the outcome of litigation in Nebraska.
“Keystone XL’s Absurd Delay” – Washington Post.
S 2074/HR 2126, promotes energy efficiency
in public, commercial buildings; cleared by
the House, stalled in the Senate.
2-year extension for renewable energy tax
credits under pending Senate legislation.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Transportation
Senate moved first to reauthorize MAP-21 –
S. 2322 approved in Committee:
Six-year bill at current funding plus inflation.
Maintains core programs and state formulas,
adds news freight mobility program.
$750 million per year for TIFIA; reestablishes
state infrastructure banks.
New $400 million per year program for Projects
of National & Regional Significance.
Mileage-based fee pilot study.
Includes ACEC contracting out language.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Transportation
S 2322 is silent on funding source, will
require over $100 billion in new revenues.
Effort to pass multi-year reauthorization bill
put aside to focus on short-term patch to
shore up the Highway Trust Fund:
Trust Fund balance depleted in August.
Would result in delayed or rationed payments to
states, projects being cancelled or postponed
due to funding uncertainty.
Short-term fix coupled with extension, either to
year end or mid 2015.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Total FHWA Obligations (excl. flex)
Total Safety Program Obligations
Total Transit Account Obligations (incl. flex)
45.0
40.8
40.3
40.0
39.4
40.0
38.1
35.0
Dollars in Billions
30.0
28.2
30.2
29.5
28.8
31.6
30.9
33.9
33.1
32.4
25.0
20.0
15.0
10.0
9.7
9.6
9.9
9.2
9.6
5.0
5.0
0.0
1.3
1.2
1.2
1.0
1.3
2011
2012
2013
2014
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
2.4
0.0
1.3
1.3
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.6
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022
2023
2024
0.0
0.0
2010
5.1
2015
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Transportation – short-term
House-passed solvency/extension bill (HR 5021),
raises $10.8 billion to bolster the HTF and extends
the program through May 2015.
Financed through so-called “pension smoothing”,
extension of custom duties, and transfer from the
LUST Trust Fund.
Senate to vote on companion bill next week;
possible changes in financing package, effort by
Senator Barbara Boxer to limit extension to
December 19th.
“Devolution” amendment to be offered in Senate.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Transportation -- long-term
Increase / index existing gas tax
Sales tax on gasoline or general sales taxes
dedicated to transportation
Energy-related revenues, e.g. offshore oil and gas
royalties, federal lands leases
Mileage-based fee (VMT)
Tolling
Expanded use of P3s, bonding/debt instruments
Revenues from repatriated foreign earnings
General fund transfers
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
DOT FAR-Based Audit Rules
Ongoing work with FHWA, State DOTs to ensure
use of FAR cost principles for A/E audits.
FHWA conducting a rulemaking to update federal
regulations and improve compliance, may be
finalized in the coming months.
ACEC/FHWA training effort; sessions held in PA,
MA, WI and Metro Washington, with other states in
discussions.
Engaging FHWA and affected firms on cost
recovery process stemming from OIG audit.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Tax Reform
House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (RMI) released draft tax reform plan in the Spring:
Reduces corporate top rate from 35% to 25%; individual
rates drop from 39.5% to 25%, with a 10% surtax for
upper income individuals ($400k) and families ($450k).
$126.5 billion for the Highway Trust Fund through
incentive to repatriate overseas corporate earnings.
Imposes payroll taxes on S Corp distributions.
Eliminates or limits other tax provisions of importance
to engineering firms, including use of cash accounting,
Section 199 (9% tax deduction), and limits tax-favored
status of private activity bonds and municipal bonds.
No action expected in 2014.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Regulatory/Legal Issues
New SEC rule on “municipal advisor” rule
improved to include feasibility studies, cash flow
modeling in engineering definition; ACEC seeking
further clarification.
Administration announced new effort to review
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules governing
overtime, including raising the current $455 per
week salary threshold below which overtime rules
would apply, and other issues.
Educating members on implementation of the
health care reform law.
Design-build, reverse auction reforms in NDAA.
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
ACEC Political Program
Essential to the success of the legislative program
– helps to elect (and protect) lawmakers favorable
to ACEC’s agenda.
ACEC/PAC grew from $300,000 in 2002 election
cycle to over $1.4 million in the 2012 cycle.
Record fundraising in 2013 – over $770,000; over
$500,000 already raised in 2014.
Political program is integrated closely with
legislative agenda to support key issues.
Thank you for your support!
The Voice of America’s Engineering Industry
Government Affairs Staff
Steve Hall
Vice President, Government Affairs
Mark Steiner
Senior Policy Director,
Federal & International Programs
Matt Reiffer
Director, Transportation
Greg Knopp
Executive Director, Political Affairs
Cara Gavagan
Director, ACEC/PAC
Vivian Moeglein
Senior Policy Advisor, Transportation
Keith Pemrick
Director, Environmental and
Energy Programs
Charles Kim
General Counsel
Katharine Mottley
Director, Tax and Regulatory Affairs
Michael Grimes
Government Affairs Manager

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