ABC Urges Government Neutrality Toward PLAs, Pushes Davis-Bacon Reform in Reaction to Executive Order on Government Efficiency

Contact: Jeff Leieritz (202) 905-2104             
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                                                                For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13
– Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today praised President Trump’s executive order calling for greater government efficiency and urged the administration and Congress to take steps to reduce the cost of public construction projects in a statement from ABC Vice President of Labor, Regulatory and State Affairs Ben Brubeck.

“Associated Builders and Contractors applauds President Trump’s effort to create a more accountable and efficient federal government. The president can increase competition for federal construction projects and lower the price tag for taxpayers by rescinding President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages contracting officers to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million, and replacing it with a neutral executive action that allows a contractor, and not the government, to choose if a PLA is appropriate. When mandated by the government, PLAs essentially prevent the 86.1 percent of the construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor union from being able to work on taxpayer-funded projects. These anti-competitive schemes drive up the cost of projects by 12 to 18 percent, according to a series of academic studies, and result in a lower return on investment for taxpayers.

“In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor and Congress can take much-needed action to reform the fundamentally flawed Davis-Bacon Act. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the Davis-Bacon Act will raise federal construction costs by $13 billion between 2018 and 2026 due to its enormous compliance burden, archaic work restrictions and the inflated costs that stem from the U.S. Department of Labor’s flawed wage calculation method. As we consider how to responsibly rebuild America’s infrastructure, which the American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave a D+, ABC urges the Trump administration and Congress to take action to guarantee taxpayers are receiving the best possible product at the best possible price.”