May 17, 2022, ABC submitted a comment letter urging the U.S. Department of Labor to withdraw its proposed rule, Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations:
“The DOL’s proposed rule does little to improve or modernize Davis-Bacon Act regulations in the face of decades of complaints by government officials, taxpayer watchdogs and industry stakeholders critical of this regulatory boondoggle well-known for increasing the cost of construction, discouraging competition from small businesses and diminishing the value of taxpayer investment in government infrastructure projects,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs. “Instead, the proposed rule fails to fix the DOL’s unscientific wage determination process, rescinds modest pro-taxpayer reforms made by the Reagan administration and illegally increases regulatory burdens on small businesses, new industries and more public works projects.
“For years, ABC has called for reforms to confusing DOL red tape and unclear policies which—coupled with a dysfunctional wage determination process—have resulted in a broken system rigged by special interests and sympathetic bureaucrats to help make unionized contractors and union labor more competitive on public works projects,” said Brubeck. “With the Biden administration promoting itself as the most pro-union administration in history, it is little surprise that the DOL missed an opportunity for meaningful regulatory reform and actively made Davis-Bacon Act regulations worse.
“Voters should know this proposed rule could not come at a worse time, as it will exacerbate the inflationary headwinds facing the construction industry—supply chain disruptions, high materials costs and a skilled labor shortage of 650,000—and fail to improve the timeliness and quality of taxpayer-funded construction projects,“ said Brubeck. “This proposal will ultimately result in less value and job creation from taxpayer investment in infrastructure––including the $550 billion of new infrastructure funding via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”
A final rule is expected as soon as February 2023. Stay tuned for additional updates