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Both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives held hearings in early May featuring testimony from U.S. Department of Labor Acting Secretary Julie Su, the sole witness at both events, to review the president’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request for the Department of Labor and discuss the policies and priorities of the department.

Prior to the hearings, ABC sent letters to the committees expressing concern with the DOL’s actions under Acting Secretary Su's leadership. The letters detail the detrimental rulemakings issued by the DOL in the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years, specifically the overtime, worker walkaround, independent contractor, Davis-Bacon and national apprenticeship system rules.

On May 9, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies held a hearing to review the DOL’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget request with Acting Secretary Su.

During the hearing, Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., expressed concern that the DOL’s priorities hurt workers and create red tape. She emphasized the DOL should focus on workforce training and creating new jobs rather than mandating new burdens that restrict worker choice and flexibility. She noted the independent contractor rule jeopardized 27 million Americans’ ability to work in a way that best fits their needs and schedules. In addition, she stated the overtime rule would force small businesses to absorb costs, which would likely lead to workers facing fewer hours, more restrictions and layoffs.

On May 1, 2024, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the Department of Labor.” Prior to the hearing, ABC sent a letter to the committee expressing concern with the DOL’s actions under Su’s leadership.

In her opening statement, Committee Chair Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., expressed concern about the DOL’s rulemakings. Specifically, she stated that the Davis-Bacon rule would make federal construction projects more unaffordable, the overtime rule would force employers to cut hours, the independent contractor rule would bankrupt freelancers, and the apprenticeship rule would further handcuff employers. She emphasized that the Biden administration’s policies focused on serving the interests of big labor union bosses and were detrimental to American workers, job creators and taxpayers.

 Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa., expressed concern about the Davis-Bacon final rule’s impact on federal construction project costs and emphasized it abandons free market principles. He cited a nonpartisan Beacon Hill Institute study, which estimates Davis-Bacon’s methodology increases project costs by 7%. At a time when construction costs have risen dramatically due to inflation, Rep. Smucker asked if applying additional costs through project labor agreements was fair to taxpayers.

In addition, Rep. Smucker expressed concern about the DOL’s apprenticeship rule, stating that it would lead to less involvement in apprenticeship programs.

 

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