Rep. Ted Budd Introduces Fair & Open Competition Act
Washington, February 24, 2021
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Fair and Open Competition Act along with Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI), and 36 other House members. The bill would ensure that the federal government and recipients of federal assistance cannot mandate project labor agreements on federal projects, thereby increasing competition and lowering construction costs for taxpayers.
Rep. Budd said in a statement:
“Government mandates favoring Big Labor are both unfair and extremely costly to the taxpayer. More than 87% of the private construction workforce does not belong to a union, and these workers should not be blocked from doing work on government projects through project labor agreements (PLAs). PLA mandates also needlessly increase the cost of government construction projects. Our bill simply says that federal contracts should be open to the company that makes the best bid. Period.”
Sen. Young said:
“With a majority of America’s private construction workers not a part of a union, government-mandated PLAs are inherently unfair. I was raised by a family of small business owners and workers, and I personally understand the economic value of open competition in the workforce. The federal government should not pick winners and losers – especially in awarding contracts. Our bill offers a simple solution that will lower costs for taxpayers and restore competition in the construction industry, particularly while our workforce is hurting during this pandemic.”
Rep. Moolenaar said:
“The Fair and Open Competition Act will create more competition for federal projects, open new opportunities for builders, and ensure better value for American taxpayers. This legislation will help get the most out of every dollar, so we can address all of our nation’s infrastructure challenges, including roads, bridges, and rural broadband.”
This legislation would enhance competition and government neutrality towards labor relations in the following ways:
1. This bill would prohibit federal agencies from either requiring or prohibiting a contract bidder to enter into an agreement with 1 or more labor organizations in order to be awarded a federal contract.
2. Agencies that award grants, enter into contracts, or provide financial assistance for construction projects would have to ensure that bid specifications and project agreements do not contain any requirements or prohibitions regarding 1 or more PLAs.