July 2021 Government Affairs Update
MBI’s Government Affairs staff recently met to discuss our strategy for the remainder of 2021, specific to U.S. federal legislation and infrastructure spending. While not the only focus area for MBI’s Government Affairs team, Congress is debating three key pieces of federal legislation worth trillions of dollars which could have a long-lasting impact on the modular construction industry.
Summaries are below. For more detail—including a complete, members-only PDF report on the items below—please email MBI's government affairs director Jon Hannah-Spacagna.
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, 2022
In early 2021, MBI engaged with key Congressional offices to support a recommendation of FEMA’s use of modular construction in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill report. In late April 2021, we met with Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) to promote a modular building industry-friendly provision in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
MBI also engaged with Rep. Charlie Crist’s (R-FL) office to support the inclusion of Rep. Torres’ language before the deadline passed. MBI also worked with Rep. Crist’s office to include specific language in the report supporting the use of temporary facilities for STEM classrooms following a major disaster.
Thanks to MBI's efforts, modular-friendly language will be included in multiple portions of the appropriations bill.
The American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan and Potential Impact on the Modular Building Industry
Earlier this year, President Biden released the American Jobs Plan, a $2.25 trillion proposal designed to create jobs through upgrading public infrastructure, revitalizing manufacturing, prioritizing workforce training, and expanding long-term health care services. The Jobs Plan is the first of a two-part package intended to revive the economy from the COVID-19 recession.
The second part—the American Families Plan—is a $1.8 trillion investment in “human infrastructure,” to expand health insurance coverage, childcare subsidies, and access to education.
The Plan includes several components and provisions of interest to the modular industry, including:
• Affordable housing
• Housing supply
• Eliminating state and local exclusionary zoning laws
• Workforce development
• Increasing federal corporate income tax rate to 28 percent
MBI is closely monitoring all facets of this plan and will continue to work toward its industry-supportive goals.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
On June 10, 2021, a bipartisan group of Senators compromised on infrastructure spending resulting in the current Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. Endorsed by President Biden, this package would spend $1.2 trillion over eight years.
On July 28, 2021, a group of bipartisan Senate negotiators reached a final agreement on the BID. This package includes $944 billion in new and baseline spending over five years for infrastructure including highways, transit, rail, broadband, and resilience.
Current proposed financing includes utilizing unused unemployment insurance funds, unused relief funds from 2020 emergency relief legislation, and state and local investment in broadband infrastructure. When final details and bill text are released, MBI will analyze these funding sources for any items that may be problematic and engage with relevant Congressional offices and federal agencies.
The MBI government affairs team will continue to provide updates and breaking news as new information is received on these key issues.