Today, House Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Republican Leader Richard Burr (R-NC) sent a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Walsh regarding the Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) Davis-Bacon wage rates.
The Members write: “Unfortunately, WHD has missed an opportunity to fix the issues identified by multiple Office of Inspector General and Government Accountability Office reports. We request a 60-day extension to the comment period to provide the regulated community appropriate time to provide robust comments to WHD.”
The Members continue:“The recent enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorized spending billions of taxpayer dollars on broad social and climate projects, including infrastructure initiatives. Most of this work will require the use of Davis-Bacon Act wage rates and administrative rules. It is imperative taxpayer-funded projects maximize delivery by selecting contractors offering the best value. The changes envisioned in the NPRM do not appear to ensure this outcome but simply drive up the cost of construction, already increased by today’s inflation rates.”
Background: On March 18, DOL’s WHD issued a proposed rule to “update” the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts regulations for the first time in nearly 40 years. The proposed rule, among other provisions, returns to the definition of prevailing wage used from 1935 to 1983, repealing Reagan-era reforms that were made to address inflation and concerns that collectively bargained rates were given undue weight.