Federal policy issues
How we prioritize our policy issues
The AIA Board of Directors sets the policy direction for AIA’s federal agenda every two years. They incorporate AIA member feedback, surveys, and resolutions into that process. From there, the board-level Government Advocacy Committee (GAC) provides more specifics and sets the policy prioritization based on current developments on Capitol Hill and within the administration. The AIA Federal Relations team is responsible for finding legislation and/or regulatory opportunities that would move these policies forward. The Federal Relations team reports to the GAC on progress toward those policy objectives in a monthly meeting.
Led by the GAC, and with the approval of the AIA Board of Directors, AIA released a 2020 Policy Platform that provides an overview of AIA’s top federal policy priorities. To find out more about each one, click the issues below.
AIA’s federal infrastructure engagement campaign intersects with multiple AIA policy priorities, including climate action, resilience, affordable housing, and tax policy. AIA members and federal relations staff have been working hard to ensure that any federal infrastructure package includes funding for buildings.
After nine months of AIA advocacy (including direct meetings, action alerts, and letters to policymakers), AIA members secured an important bipartisan victory. In November 2021, President Biden signed into law a bipartisan infrastructure package (H.R. 3684), which included investments for energy-efficient and resilient buildings along with more traditional set-asides for transportation infrastructure. This is a milestone for the building construction industry.
Why? The federal government confirming buildings as a critical piece of U.S. infrastructure for the first time within the federal statute sets a legislative precedent that buildings are infrastructure, which will be important to architects for generations to come.
Although previous attempts to pass a party-line reconciliation package failed in December 2021, then called the Build Back Better Act (BBBA), negotiations resumed during the second session of the 117th Congress and culminated in President Biden signing H.R. 5376, The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, into law on August 16, 2022. The package includes about $370 billion in energy and climate-related spending, making it the largest federal investment to combat climate change in history.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes multiple AIA priorities, including investments in building energy codes, climate tax incentives and energy efficient affordable housing. This legislation is step in the right direction towards creating sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities for all. A more detailed overview of the building sector investments in the legislation is available.
AIA 2023 Lobby Day
AIA Lobby Day 2023 took place on February 15, 2023. This year’s Lobby Day included 425 advocates and 285 policy meetings on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Learn more about AIA’s Lobby Day event by visiting the event page.
Archive: federal advocacy in previous years
A summary of AIA's top federal policy wins for the last year are available to view here.
Letters to policymakers
The following section includes letters that AIA has submitted to federal policymakers during the current 118th Congress (2023-2024).
Climate action is an urgent priority for AIA. Buildings currently account for roughly 40% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That means that by addressing the carbon footprint of the nation’s building stock, we can address almost half the problem. Architects have the design expertise and technological advancements to bring emissions to zero, but change cannot come soon enough to limit the effects of global warming without significant federal leadership. Our climate action campaign includes regulatory and legislative objectives to curb emissions, address embodied carbon, and transition to a zero-carbon future. Please see below for additional information about AIA's federal engagement on climate action.
Coalition Recommendation Letter to EPA RE: Implementation Framework for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GRRF) (May 12, 2023)
AIA DOE Comments RE: Technical Assistance for Latest and Zero Building Energy Code Adoption (April 20, 2023)
AIA DOE Comments RE: Clean Energy for New and Existing Federal Buildings (March 20, 2023)
AIA FY 2024 Energy and Water Priorities Letter to Relevant House and Senate Appropriations Committees (March 13, 2023)
USGBC Coalition Sign-On Letter Urging for FY 2024 ENERGY STAR Funding (February 15, 2023)