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    Construction NewsBRIEFS! 10-18-2011

    ‘Buy American’ provisions in the American Jobs Act of 2011, S. 1549, which some in Congress may try to pass piecemeal, are identical to the provisions in the Recovery Act of 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. The provision states that none of the funds in the bill “may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.” Like the Recovery Act, there is an exception for cases in which the government finds that applying it would be inconsistent with the public interest; iron, steel, and relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality; or inclusion of iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the U.S. will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25%. AGC of America joined several industry and trade groups in a letter to Congressional leaders opposing the provision because it “would serve only to impose additional costs on the U.S. Government and U.S. taxpayers and slow down infrastructure development and other procurement projects – reducing economic stimulus for the United States and undermining job growth.”

    Contracting revenue from green building construction generated $44.41 billion in contracting revenue last year, a 3.2% increase over the year before, according to Engineering News-Record. “One of the biggest reasons for the increase is that the public sector, particularly federal work, where green building is often mandated by laws and regulations, has been strong.”

    The Rebuilding our Economy and Limiting the Impacts of Expected Flooding (RELIEF) Act, H.R. 3089, was introduced in Congress by Rep. Chris Murphy (D-5th Dist.). The bill would authorize FEMA to make $100 million a year in grants for each of the next five years to municipal governments for flood mitigation projects.

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