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 (in addition to traditional roads and bridges funding).
After 9 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? Because the federal government confirmed buildings as a critical piece of U.S. infrastructure within the federal statute, which hadn’t been done before. This legislative precedent confirming that buildings are infrastructure will be important to architects for generations to come.
However, much more work is needed. Senate Democrats have restarted negotiations on a new Budget Reconciliation package called the Inflation Reduction Act. The draft bill is focused on climate and healthcare-related investments, lowering the federal deficit, and increasing taxes for high income individuals and businesses, among others.
The time for action is running out. For the House of Representatives and Senate to pass the Inflation Reduction Act under Budget Reconciliation rules, both chambers must advance the bill to the President’s desk before the Reconciliation procedural deadline on September 30, 2022. AIA’s federal relations staff will continue to aggressively advocate for critical climate action and a favorable businesses environment for architects and architectural firms.
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
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)
AGC Coalition Letter RE: PPP Technical Correction (December 3, 2020)
International Franchise Association Coalition Letter RE: PPP Second Draw (December 1, 2020)
Congressional Testimony by Business Continuity Coalition to the House Financial Services Committee (November 19, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: 501(c)(6) PPP Eligibility (September 28, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: 501(c)(6) PPP Eligibility (September 8, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: PPP Second Draw (August 5, 2020)
Main Street Loan Forgiveness (August 4, 2020)
Building Occupant Health & Safety, Immediate Economic Relief, and Vertical Infrastructure (July 24, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: Nonprofit Association Relief/ 501(c)(6) PPP eligibility (July 1, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: NOL’s (June 22, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: 25C Expansion (June 3, 2020)
ASE Coalition Letter RE: Support for Critical Public Facilities (June 2, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: PPP Fixes (May 21, 2020)
Coalition Letter RE: Virtual Capability for Code Inspectors (May 1, 2020)
Historic Tax Credit to Spur Economic Recovery (April 24, 2020)
S-Corp Coalition Letter RE: Additional PPP Funding (April 15, 2020)
ASAE Coalition Letter RE: Association Relief/501(c)(6) PPP eligibility (April 2, 2020)
AIA Letter RE: Small-Business Relief & Infrastructure Investment (March 19, 2020)