A bill to increase accountability for contractors is progressing in Congress with Senate action on provisions expected after the July 4th recess. Since the beginning of the session, SMACNA has been working on the Contractors and Federal Spending Accountability Act, H.R. 3033 and S. 2904, which would increase oversight for awarding of public contracts and strengthen accountability in the suspension and debarment process. The House recently inserted the provisions of H.R. 3033 into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R. 5856, with government-wide application. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) inserted a similar amendment into the Senate’s version of NDAA (S. 3002), but in its current form it would apply only to the Department of Defense. Sen. McCaskill plans to offer an amendment when the bill comes to the Senate floor that would ensure that the provision cover all government agencies.
Tax Extenders Pass the House; One-Year Extension Expected Even though obstacles remain in the Senate, Congressional leaders are expecting an extension of one year for Tax Extenders, legislation providing tax credits for developing renewable energy. Tax extender legislation moved forward with the House’s passage of H.R. 6049, The Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act. Besides providing the tax credits for construction, the bill would require use of prevailing wage standards in the construction and repair of renewable energy facilities financed with tax credit bonds. The House bill also provides energy efficiency tax credits. After failure to agree on the House package, the Senate could consider the legislation in two separate bills to deal with the more contentious provisions. Obstacles in the Senate include differences over payment for the tax extenders. The Administration has threatened to veto the legislation as passed by the House.