Rep. Ted Budd Leads 59 House Members to Call Out Biden’s Big Labor Mandate
Washington, March 8, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) led a coalition of 59 House members to send a letter to President Biden calling on him to reverse the administration’s executive order mandating anti-competitive project labor agreements on federal construction contracts.
The full text of the letter is below:
We write to express our strong opposition to your administration’s efforts to encourage and require project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal and federally assisted construction contracts funded by taxpayers. Executive Order 14063, which requires PLAs on federal construction contracts exceeding $35 million, will undermine taxpayer investment in public works projects financed by the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, and other recent infrastructure legislation passed by Congress. None of these laws included language requiring or encouraging the use of PLAs.
Currently, 87.3% of the U.S. construction workforce does not belong to a union. Mandating PLAs will prevent qualified contractors from fairly competing for contracts on taxpayer-funded projects. These mandates will also deny critical construction jobs to local workers and small businesses. The Fair and Open Competition Act (FOCA, H.R. 1284) would guarantee the best value for hardworking taxpayers through a fair and open bidding process for federal construction projects. Notably, FOCA prevents federal mandates for PLAs, but also ensures federal agencies can still award contracts to businesses that voluntarily enter into a PLA.
Twenty-four states have enacted similar measures that ensure accountability, oversight, and a fact-based decision-making process. These laws lead to better investment in local infrastructure and the creation of more construction industry jobs—a vital part of economic recovery. These state laws curb waste and favoritism in the procurement of construction projects and ensure responsible management of taxpayer dollars. Further, they allow markets to determine the appropriateness of a PLA, not the federal government.
Your administration should be designing policies that support job growth for all qualified contractors, not attaching strings to infrastructure funding that create discriminatory barriers to recovery. For the sake of small businesses, workers, and taxpayers, we request that you immediately withdraw this harmful guidance. We appreciate your thoughtful consideration of our request to protect all American workers.
The full list of co-signers is below: