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During Vote-A-Rama, the U.S. Senate’s unique tradition which gives senators a chance to have votes on numerous amendments to the Senate’s must-pass budget resolution, the Senate passed an amendment containing language banning government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs).

Amendment 665, offered by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to the Senate Budget, would establish a “spending-neutral reserve fund relating to prohibiting the awarding of construction contracts based on awardees entering or not entering into agreements with labor organizations.” 

The Flake amendment passed 51-49 with GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Steve Daines (Mt.) voting against it with all Democrats, and the Senate passed their budget March 27 with a vote of 52-46.

Even though the amendment and budget votes are nonbinding, it reflects the will of the Senate and is important to ABC because it is the first time the Senate has ever approved a legislative effort to prohibit government-mandated PLAs.

This bodes well for the future of ABC-priority legislative efforts in the 114th Congress to restrict government-mandated PLAs, such as the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (H.R. 1671/S. 71), introduced by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Sen David Vitter (R-La.), or via amendments to forthcoming appropriations bills.