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The Senate voted to repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force against Iraq and the House voted on an energy bill, which would overhaul the environmental permitting process and expand oil and gas lease sales on federal lands. Congress will be on Easter/Passover Recess starting Friday, March 31, until Monday, April 17.
FCA International Opposes Davis-Bacon Repeal Act
FCA International is in strong opposition to H.R. 720, the “Davis-Bacon Repeal Act.” Rather than providing any benefits to taxpayers or the economy, repealing Davis-Bacon would do nothing more than create a race to the bottom in the construction industry to the detriment of working men and women across this country.
The Davis-Bacon Act was enacted more than 90 years ago to provide a level playing field for local contractors and subcontractors, by protecting them from losing out on federal projects to “outside contractors…who recruited labor from distant cheap labor areas.” Specifically, the Act requires that on most federally funded projects, workers are to be paid a minimum of the prevailing wage for the area in which the work will be performed as determined by the Department of Labor.
The Davis-Bacon Act’s guarantee of prevailing wages not only benefits contractors, workers, and their communities, it also supports the types of quality workforce training, project safety, and productivity that prevents delays, repairs, and re-dos of projects and the associated costs they entail. In so doing, the Act provides taxpayers with the best long-term value by ensuring that federally funded projects are built to the highest standards using skilled and well-trained construction craftspeople.
FCA believes efforts to repeal Davis-Bacon are misguided. Previous efforts to repeal the law have faced bipartisan opposition and failed. FCA is urging Congressional representatives to oppose H.R. 720, and we will continue advocating for signatory contractors on Capitol Hill to keep this bill from becoming law.
Debt Limit Update
House Republicans have sent multiple messages about the debt-limit and other budgetary measures, making it unclear what comes next in negotiations with President Biden. Budget Chair Jodey Arrington (R-TX) said Republicans were close to putting out a “term sheet” of GOP priorities for a debt-limit deal.
COVID-19 Funding to Localities
In the fall 2022 OSHA Regulatory Agenda, OSHA announced plans to initiate a panel on its upcoming heat illness standard for indoor and outdoor workplaces, but it’s not likely we will be seeing heat illness move through this process until late spring/early summer. However, FCA will have the opportunity to work with OSHA on the development of FAQs to help address the concerns and confusion in the National Emphasis Program on heat-related hazards, similar to our work on the silica FAQs for construction in 2018.
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