CEA National Issues Conference Returns to DC After Hiatus

Legislative summit offers coalition members of the Construction Employers of America (CEA) the opportunity to engage their lawmakers on critical industry issues.

 GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan

Members from SMACNA, MCAA, and TAUC assembled in the nation’s capital for the 2023 CEA National Issues Conference. Returning to in person for the first time in over two years, attendees heard from stakeholders on various legislative and regulatory topics before meeting with their elected officials to discuss the issues impacting the construction industry.

Jessica Looman, Principal Deputy Administrator from the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Wage & Hour Division, and Lafe Solomon, Senior Counsel from DOL’s Office of the Solicitor provided an update on the labor environment.  They discussed several core issues under their jurisdiction that are of importance to signatory contractors, including Davis-Bacon, Project Labor Agreements, Independent Contractor Misclassification, and Registered Apprenticeships.

The energy and building market sectors update was delivered by Laura O'Neill from the Department of Commerce and Jessie Stolark from the Carbon Capture Coalition who both touched on energy efficiency initiatives and tax credits in order to meet the stated goals of the current legislation.

The GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan updated the audience on the ongoing issues facing Federal Contracting and Procurement.  She was joined by staff who answered questions on bidding, contract award, subcontractor selection and cost impact claims.

  Aaron Hilger and Jessica Looman

Mariah Becker from the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployers Plans discussed the regulatory outlook for benefit frameworks and how potential legislative action could impact the space.

Sean McGarvey, President of the North American Building Trades Union (NABTU), addressed attendees on the state of labor and how signatory contractors play an essential role in advancing the middle class.

CEA was also grateful to host two members from the current Congress, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) who addressed the body on critical legislative issues of importance. Congressman Connolly focused on the role contractors must play to modernize the nation’s infrastructure. Meanwhile, Senator Welch concentrated on how the construction industry can help the country meet our efficiency goals. The event was moderated by the Honorable Earl Pomeroy, former Congressman from North Dakota and current senior counsel at Alston & Bird.