When President Obama sends his 2011 budget plan to Capitol Hill, he will propose freezing non-defense discretionary spending—which includes most construction programs—at 2010’s level for the next three years. Construction executives hope Obama will keep some infrastructure line items unscathed or maybe even recommend some hikes. But the final numbers are up to Congress and won’t emerge until after months of partisan, election-year budget battling. Complicating the picture further, Democrats have seen their razor-thin, filibuster-proof 60-vote majority slip to a vulnerable 59 votes with Republican Scott Brown’s win in the Jan. 19 Massachusetts Senate race. + Image On the Board:
Despite a faltering international market, 2015 and the beginning of 2016 are proving to be strong years for U.S. contractors, with steady domestic growth and only moderate strain from workforce shortages.