Administration officials and a bipartisan group of Senators are drumming up support for a compromise
The Senate proposal is just a two-page framework and will require a lot of work to transform it into legislation. Transportation reauthorization will almost certainly be a major component, with measures already approved by the Senate Environment Public Works Committee and the Commerce Committee combined with yet-to-be-released transit provisions. Were talking with Senate staff to determine how the other pieces of the compromise deal-energy, broadband, and resilience-would come together in the package.
We also won a partial fix to the PPP/FAR credits clause issue in the bill, limiting the FAR credit to federal dollars in contract payments and thereby preventing state DOTs from applying the FAR provision to state-funded contracts
Passage in the Senate isnt a slam-dunk by any stretch. The deal is already getting pushback from both ends of the political spectrum, either for being too expansive or not expansive enough. Perhaps anticipating a lengthy debate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will focus on infrastructure throughout July.
ACEC will be party to these discussions, continuing to make the case that our nation needs this generational investment in the built environment.
The ACEC Infrastructure Scenarios Impact on Forecast report, which was released last week, will bolster the case for putting our industry to work designing the future. The report estimates that the Senate bipartisan agreement would create more than 82,000 full and part-time jobs in engineering and design services and generate $62 billion in A/E industry wages, and the sector would add $75 billion to GDP. Overall, the proposal would lead to a 6% average annual increase in engineering and design services sector activity over the next six years, pushing annual output from $352 billion in 2021 to $416 billion by 2026.
I encourage you to reach out to your Senators and urge their support for passage of a robust infrastructure package and a fix to the PPP/FAR credits clause issue.
This is a priority issue for our member firms-especially those that relied on PPP loans to help navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic
ACECs advocacy continues to focus on finding an equitable resolution to the PPP/FAR credits clause issue. Over the past months, our Advocacy team and state Executive Directors have been lobbying Members of Congress in Washington, D.C. and in their motorcycle title pawn in Louisiana home districts to highlight this critical issue and to build support for a legislative fix that would exempt engineering firms from being subject to the clause. We should never forget that when the economy shutdown, the need for our essential work continued. The good news is that we find ourselves with several near-term opportunities to influence policy in our favor. The less-than-good news is that the policy environment in Congress is moving fast and is ever changing. To win, we will need to double down on our advocacy and implement an “all of ACEC” campaign to fix the FAR. This week, we launched a new communications advocacy campaign on this all-important issue. The campaign involves traditional and social media from ACEC and our allies spreading the message about PPP Fairness to the audiences that matter to our industry. We will advertise in leading Capitol Hill news outlets. We will leverage our digital marketing capabilities to reach influencers online. And we will take our message to the states through our federation. Our core message has one unifying theme: Engineering firms shouldnt be singled out and penalized for acting in the best interests of their employees and clients. Its time for real PPP fairness. I urge you to join us. Our ability to convince Members of Congress to act on this issue depends on telling them why it is so critically important to firms. There is no better advocate than a constituent, especially a constituent business owner. I invite you to visit our campaign website at While you are there, use the email template to reach out to your Member of Congress, or the Twitter template to tweet out a message of support with the hashtag #PPPFairness. Use our template for a letter to the editor to tell your local paper what this issue means for your business. If you need further assistance, contact your states Executive Director for resources to make your voice heard. Together, we can make a difference and fix the FAR once and for all. — Linda Bauer Darr, ACEC President/CEO