As the clock ticked closer to the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the federal debt limit, the focus shifted to dueling plans from Senate Democrats and House Republicans. Both proposals, unveiled on July 25, would raise the debt cap and cut deeply into federal spending, but the plans themselves differed sharply on the timing and structure.Lawmakers on each side maintained they did not want to see the U.S. default, but they remained at odds and continued to blast the other's proposals. Construction industry and state officials also hope lawmakers can avert default, which economists say could drive up interest rates
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.