|Shown are Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Calvin Brodie, Owner of Brodie Contractors. Sen. Burr is on the Senate Committee on Armed Services; Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources; Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions; and Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs|
MCAA Legislative Conference 2010
Members of the MCAA converged on Washington, D.C., in mid-May to get front and center with the politicians who make the decisions that most affect our industry. We were early to rise, pounding the pavement of D.C. and knocking on the doors of Congressman on both sides of the aisle. Following are the bills we lobbied for (or against), along with our official position on those bills.
Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA) – Enforcement
Position: Our industry continues to maintain its commitment to worker and workplace safety as evidenced by the continuing reduction in instances of injury in our operations. Fair and consistent enforcement of mine safety regulations by MSHA will complement the industry’s efforts and lead to a safer and healthier workplace. Anything less than reasonable interpretation and consistent enforcement of the standards will be counter-productive and serve only to divert mine operators attention from valid safety issues that will make a real difference in the safety of our workers.
Military Construction (MilCon)
Position: The masonry industry urges Congress to direct the Armed Services to incorporate life cycle cost and other durability considerations heavily into design and construction protocols. The present policy, particularly that of the Army Corps, of grossly undervalues life cycle cost and durability as criteria for awarding construction contracts. This policy is costing the government billions of dollars long-term.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Position: The Masonry Industry supports a comprehensive approach that includes provisions to secure our nation’s borders and creates a temporary guest worker program that meets the demand for labor and a process for addressing the undocumented currently employed in the U.S. We urge Congress to act quickly and decisively to address the ever growing problem and to pass a Comprehensive Reform package rather than piecemeal legislation which only addresses very few narrow components of the overall problem.
Alternative Minimum Tax
Position: The Masonry Industry supports repeal of the AMT or appropriate indexing of the AMT to its original date of enactment or the date of enactment of a new AMT bill.
Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
Position: Federal agencies should take steps to improve enforcement of current laws at both the state and federal level. Congress should direct the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service to work together to improve enforcement mechanisms and protocols. Furthermore, the current tax gap has reached epic proportions; addressing misclassification will help to address billions in lost revenue to the federal government. The Masonry Industry urges Members of Congress to support legislation (H.R. 3408 / S. 2882) which addresses this problem.
3% Government Withholding Tax
Position: The Masonry Industry opposes the 3% withholding tax. We urge Members of Congress to support H.R. 275 (Meek-Herger) bill and S. 292 (Specter-Vitter) to immediately repeal this overreaching new requirement.
Position: The Masonry Industry favors permanent repeal of the estate tax or the establishment of a reasonable exemption that gives employers and workers an opportunity to continue operations. We favor this so that masonry industry businesses will have the best possible chance of surviving the death of an owner without disruption to their businesses, the communities they serve, and, importantly, the quality of life of employees and their families.
Paul Odom, P and S Masonry; Congressman Wally Herger; MCAA President Mackie Bounds; MCAA Executive Director Jeff Buczkiewicz
MCAA Freedom and Prosperity Awards
Highlighting our trip were the presentations of the first-ever MCAA Freedom and Prosperity Award. The MCAA created the award to provide specific recognition to members of Congress that have embraced the spirit of the award and led the legislative fight for MCAA priorities.
The 2010 MCAA Freedom and Prosperity Award recipients are: Congressman Chet Edwards (D-TX), Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA), Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Senator David Vitter (R-LA), and Senator John Thune (R-SD).
- 63February 2014 Chairman's Message Ready for Action Mark Kemp Chairman Mason Contractors Association of America Mark@superiormasonry.com I thought seeing as how this is my first article as your Chairman of MCAA, I should start with a brief introduction. For those who do not know me, my name is Mark Kemp, and I am the CEO…
- 58June 2010 Government Affairs Legislative Conference 2010 Recap Matthew B. Keelen and Michael J. Falencki This year’s fly-in was a resounding success, and a big thank you is in order for those MCAA members who made the trip to Washington, D.C., for the May 5 and 6 trip. MCAA members met with more than 40…
- 53August 2013 MCAA Report MCAA Key Accomplishments 2012-2013 An overview of your membership dues at work By Jeff Buczkiewicz Membership dues paid to the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) are the largest source of funding that we have. Its importance cannot be understated. It's a vital part of the association that enables us to…
- 51March 2013 Government Affairs Legislative Update From MCAA Annual Convention Stephen Borg We had yet another productive and successful time in early-February at the 2013 MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas. Many MCAA members were present, and we had an extremely active session discussing the upcoming year in Washington,…
- 50January 2013 Building Information Modeling Masonry and BIM: The Next Level Building information modeling, or BIM, has been in the construction industry’s vernacular for several years. Understanding what BIM really will mean to the future of our industry is paramount. If BIM is to be the go-to building concept, then masonry needs to be in…