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 2022 Lobby Day
AIA Lobby Day 2022 was a success for architects. The two-day event took place on April 13 and 14 and included 281 AIA participants from across the nation who took part in direct advocacy in support of AIA priority legislation. This year's meetings were targeted to Congressional offices on key Congressional committees. AIA members met with 82 separate Congressional offices, including visits with six members of the U.S. House of Representatives and one U.S. Senator, in addition to meetings with Congressional staff. AIA members advocated two bills supported by AIA, the Democracy In Design Act (H.R. 5291) and the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act (H.R. 3198/S. 1614), providing critical momentum on some of AIA's top legislative priorities. Feel free to view the memo here to learn more about the Lobby Day Event.
Letters to policymakers
The following section includes letters that AIA has submitted to federal policymakers during the current 117th Congress (2021-2022). You can also visit AIA's 116th Congress Archive to see a comprehensive list of letters submitted to policymakers during the 116th Congress (2019-2020).
COVID-19 has dramatically changed our world, rocking the global economy and challenging the way people interact with the built environment. Through it all, AIA has tirelessly voiced architects’ priorities for COVID-19 relief. AIA lobbies for financial relief for architects to help them withstand the economic downturn, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), tax credits for redesigning workplaces, and funding for state and local governments (which often contract for architectural services). We’re also calling for a robust green infrastructure investment to get the economy back on its feet. Please see below for additional information about AIA’s federal engagement regarding COVID-19 relief.
AIA Letter to Department of Treasury RE: COVID-19 Relief Funds (July 16, 2021)
GIWG Coalition Letter RE: Green Infrastructure COVID-19 Recovery Priorities (March 30, 2021)
Chamber of Commerce Coalition Letter RE: PPP Deadline Extension (March 3, 2021)
S-Corp Coalition Letter RE: NOL's (February 5, 2021)
Green Infrastructure Working Group Priorities RE: COVID Recovery (January 21, 2021)