Talking Points

NASBP Federal Issues at a Glance: Talking Points for Capitol Hill Visits

As of May 16, 2017

Deliver these key messages to your Senators and Representatives.

Understand the Importance of Surety Bonds

  • The Federal Miller Act provides vital financial security to protect project owners by assuring that interested contractors are qualified to perform the construction contract.
  • A reputable and knowledgeable surety stands ready to complete contract performance in the event of contractor default, and that certain project subcontractors and suppliers will be paid.
  • Surety bonds protect taxpayer dollars and they also protect the downstream businesses that serve as subcontractors and suppliers on public construction projects that otherwise would not have a payment remedy in the event of contractor nonpayment.
  • Subcontractors and suppliers should receive proper notification when contracting officers decide to reduce or to waive Miller Act payment bond requirements, which would require a regulatory change, in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Require bonds on public-private partnership (P3) agreements undertaken federally or with federal financing.

  • P3 projects may be managed by a private entity, BUT the completed construction project is for public benefit and eventually reverts to an asset of the public.
  • The public owner, taxpayers, subcontractors, and suppliers must be protected as on any other project.
  • When the federal government provides loans and or grants through programs such as WIFIA or TIFIA agreements for P3s, bonds should be required for the construction portion of the contract as they would be for traditional public works projects.

Amend Title 41 USC § 1908 to exempt the Federal Miller Act from threshold increases due to indexing for inflation

  • Title 41 requires that procurement thresholds be periodically indexed for inflation. The Miller Act, as a remedial statute, was incorrectly included in this indexing requirement.
  • There are exceptions, such as the Davis Bacon Act, to protect the payment of wages to laborers on federal projects.
  • As a protective statute, the Miller Act should be exempted from rote indexing formulas. Any adjustment to the Miller Act should be done through a deliberative process, so Congress will understand the impact of any adjustments on small construction businesses acting as subcontractors and suppliers which may not have payment bond protection on federal construction projects as a result of such adjustments.

Repeal of the Written Prior Approval/Authorization, as supported by the PARC

  • Ask your Representative, especially those who serve on the House Appropriations and the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) subcommittee to consider co-sponsoring H.R. 2101 (Amodei-R-NV-2nd)
  • NASBP is a member of Prior Approval Reform Coalition (PARC), a coalition that includes some of our closest construction trade partners and is seeking repeal of the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC’s) requirement that corporate trade associations must obtain written prior approval/authorization before they can directly solicit their members for a PAC contribution.
  • Requiring trade associations to seek prior approval is inequitable and restricts First Amendment rights.
  • No other class of political action committee, including corporate, labor union and individual membership association PACs, is subject to the prior approval requirement.

Please feel free to contact Larry LeClair, Director of Government Relations, at