ABC Hightlights Need For Regulatory Reform In letter To House Committee

ABC Jan. 7 sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) outlining the most egregious existing, proposed and upcoming federal regulatory activity that is detrimental to ABC members and the construction industry.  ABC sent the letter in response to a request by Issa to 150 companies, trade groups and think tanks requesting information regarding regulations hindering job growth in the industry.  

In the letter, ABC expressed support for comprehensive regulatory reform and applauded the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act that would require Congress to pass a joint resolution of approval before any new major rule.  ABC also spoke out against regulations that negatively impact its members.  

Specifically, ABC expressed opposition to the final rule implementing Executive Order 13502, which strongly encourages federal agencies to require union-only project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million.  In addition, ABC objected to potential “High Road” government contracting policy that could require construction contractors to be deemed “satisfactory” based on subjective criteria determined by the Obama Administration.  

ABC also singled out the Davis-Bacon Act due to the use of an unscientific methodology that results in inflated “prevailing” wage rates that can destroy small businesses and suggested using alternate methods to determine wage rates and more clarity regarding job classifications.  

Addressing upcoming Department of Labor regulations, ABC voiced concerns about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Injury and Illness Prevention Program, which is in the pre-rule stage and would require employers, regardless of size, to find and fix workplace hazards, and an upcoming proposed rule from the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) that seeks to require employers to provide workers with detailed, written information regarding their employment status and how their pay is calculated. In addition, ABC objected to an OSHA proposed rule that would add a column to the Form 300 to track “musculoskeletal disorders” and an attempt to circumvent the formal rulemaking process by reinterpreting the occupational noise exposure standards for construction.  Under the DOL’s agenda for the coming year, ABC also objected to efforts that will discourage employers from speaking to employees about unions during organizing campaigns.    

ABC criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for attempting to expand its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting program to include commercial buildings without appropriate data, in addition to EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions without approval from Congress.  

The letter also expressed concern over the National Labor Relations Board’s plans to begin issuing rulemakings, despite its historic role as an appellate and judicial body. In addition, ABC asked for a full repeal of both the expanded Form 1099 reporting requirements contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and of the three percent withholding tax.   

To read the letter, click here.