The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement today in response to the House vote (by a margin of 405 to 16) to repeal the 3 percent tax withholding mandate:

“An overwhelming majority of Representatives understand that the 3 percent tax withholding measure would force construction firms to provide the federal government with multi-billion dollar interest-free loans at a time when construction activity has declined by $400 billion and unemployment rates stand at over 13 percent. Our members have told us that failure to repeal would force contractors to cut staff, purchase less equipment and raise bid levels for publicly funded projects, as a survey the association released last week found.

“Given the fact that a majority of Senators have already voted to repeal the tax measure and the president has said forcing contractors to forgo 3 percent of their earnings will hurt the economy, we expect the Senate to act swiftly to repeal this measure. And once that happens, we expect the president will quickly sign this desperately needed legislation into law before the tax withholding mandate significantly damages our economy.”