Construction industry groups cheered the House's Oct. 27 approval of legislation to repeal a mandate that government agencies withhold 3% of contract dollars from companies doing that work. But their focus quickly turned to the Senate, where they hope lawmakers will agree to the House measure and send it to the White House to be signed. A majority of the Senate recently voted for a different withholding-repeal bill, handicapping the prospects there for the House-approved measure.
The House's strong 405-16 vote for the repeal bill has given the industry a lift. Geoff Burr, Associated Builders and Contractors vice president of federal affairs, says, “Even people who followed this closely didn't expect there only to be 16 no votes on this bill. And that overwhelming support in the House might force the Senate's hand to some degree.”