Capitol Hill action on an economic stimulus bill has shifted to the Senate floor, where on Feb. 2 debate began on an $884.5-billion package of spending and tax breaks. The measure’s estimated $160 billion in construction-related spending appears safe, and Senate infrastructure advocates are trying to boost that total higher. But they probably will need to propose offsetting spending cuts to win approval for any increases. Related Links: New Stimulus Bills Are Really More Hurt Than Help Sources: House, Senate Appropriations Committees, Congressional Budget Office, ENR *Construction funding estimated The first key floor vote, on Feb. 3, didn’t go well
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.