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ABC is encouraging all members to call on their Representative to support H.J. Res. 37, introduced by U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). The resolution provides for congressional disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to invalidate the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council and U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) "blacklisting" rule and guidance implementing President Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673.

The blacklisting rulemaking, should it go into effect, imposes a sweeping new regulatory scheme on federal contractors that will disrupt the federal procurement process, significantly increase red tape and costs for both government and industry, and serve as a barrier to entry to federal contracting for many businesses.

The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on the measure Feb. 2. Members can voice their support for H.J. Res. 37. to their representatives in Congress through the ABC Action Center or through the ABC Action App on both iPhone and Android devices.

Jan. 31 ABC sent a letter to the House urging lawmakers to support H.J. Res. 37. In its letter, ABC notified members of the House that it will consider the bill a key vote on its 115th Congressional Scorecard and explained “the Obama administration’s blacklisting proposal circumvents congressional authority, harms the economy and efficiency of the federal government’s acquisition process process, disrupts fair and open competition in federal contracting, and creates a duplicative and costly bureaucratic structure within the DOL that undermines longstanding suspension and debarment procedures that already are part of the federal contracting process.”

In addition, ABC members should be prepared to respond to a second action alert supporting a similar Senate resolution (S.J. Res. 12), introduced Jan. 30 by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chair Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) along with 10 other senators, against the blacklisting regulations that could be voted on as early as next week.

If the House and Senate both pass measures with a simple majority, it will be presented to President Trump for signature or veto. If President Trump signs the CRA resolution into law, or Congress overrides a presidential veto, the blacklisting rule is deemed “disapproved” and will not take effect. From that time forward, the agency cannot promulgate any rule which is “substantially the same” as the one disapproved. In effect, the blacklisting rule will be permanently eliminated.

On Aug. 24, 2016, the FAR Council issued the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule, commonly referred to as blacklisting regulations, implementing President Obama’s EO 13673, signed July 31, 2014. The rule was accompanied by a guidance document from the DOL and a White House amendment to Executive Order 13673. ABC issued a press release slamming the final blacklisting rule immediately afterward and for two years has been working with a coalition of business groups and federal contractors to find legislative, regulatory and legal solutions to overturn the flawed blacklisting regulation.

On Oct. 24, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that temporarily prevents the FAR Council from implementing the final blacklisting rule. The blacklisting rule was scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 25, 2016. The decision came in response to a legal challenge filed by ABC, its ABC Southeast Texas Chapter and the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) Oct. 7, 2016.  

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