Burr, Senators Submit Comment to Biden Labor Department Opposing Misleading Efforts to Rewrite Davis-Bacon

Senators: “The current proposal, by reverting to regulations and policies last employed in the Carter Administration, represents a massive step backward.”

May 18, 2022

This week, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led a group of Senate colleagues in submitting comment to the U.S. Department of Labor opposing the Administration’s proposal to make substantial, misguided, and burdensome changes to the wage regulations issued under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA). 

The comment, a response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), is also signed by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Thune (R-SD), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

In their comment, the Senators underscored the consequences of these proposed changes, which would unfairly benefit unions and further inflate wages and regulatory burdens at the cost of taxpayers.

“The current proposal, by reverting to regulations and policies last employed in the Carter Administration, represents a massive step backward,” wrote the Senators. “Further, it fails to adopt necessary reforms recommended by government watchdogs, only exacerbating deficiencies in wage survey and data collection, further inflating construction costs at great detriment to the taxpayer.

“By repealing the Reagan-era reforms and ignoring the urgent recommendations of government watchdogs to truly modernize the DBRA, the Administration is willfully promulgating fundamentally misguided policy that for decades has resulted in grossly inflated wages, contravening the original intent of Davis-Bacon,” continued the Senators.

The Senators concluded, “With inflation already reducing the worth of the bill, the proposal contained within this NPRM will only further limit the number of infrastructure projects the federal government can pursue, greatly inflate the cost to the taxpayer of necessary infrastructure projects at rates far above market value, all while imposing boundless administrative and paperwork burdens on small to mid-size contractors. We therefore urge the Administration to refrain from pursuing this misguided proposal.”

To read the full letter, click here.