Construction industry officials say the $2.2 trillion stimulus will help firms cope with immediate cash flow crunch, but the industry needs compensation for losses, new infrastructure investments and pension relief to recover.
Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), issued the following statement in reaction to the coronavirus relief measure that passed the Senate on March 25.
“The coronavirus relief measure the Senate passed last night will provide construction employers and employees with critically needed access to capital, expedited cash flow, worker benefit protection and critical tax relief, among other measures. These measures will provide construction firms and their employees with a needed lifeline to help them cope with a rapidly deteriorating business environment.
“Yet the industry will need additional measures from Congress over the coming weeks to recover from the many economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, Congress must provide financial compensation for losses incurred on federally funded projects because of COVID-19 related delays and cancellations. Congress also needs to increase investments in infrastructure and pass needed multi-year funding measures for surface transportation and waterways. And Congress must act to protect the retirement and health plans of millions of construction workers who participate in multi-employer pension programs.
“Congress has provided the industry with a much-needed lifeline that will help firms and workers over the coming days and weeks. But the industry will not be able to truly recover until federal officials pass measures designed to stimulate new demand for construction, make contractors whole for losses incurred because of the coronavirus and protect employee retirement and health plans. That is why this association and its 27,000 member firms will continue to work with Washington officials as we transition from immediate relief to long-term recovery.”