As one of our more than 6.9 million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative today and ask him or her to support the Responsibility in Federal Contracting Act (RIFCA), H.R. 924. Introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), the bill would save taxpayers billions of dollars by changing the way that the “prevailing wage” is calculated under the Davis-Bacon Act.
Currently, under the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, the wages paid to workers on federally funded construction contracts are based on the local “prevailing wage”, a statistic which is easily manipulated by unions, who effectively set the prevailing wage in many areas of the country. This makes it very difficult for non-union labor to compete for federal contracts, and also increases project costs to the taxpayers by over a billion dollars each year.
Aside from wasting taxpayer money, the Davis-Bacon requirements also create a barrier to small firms and non-union labor that may want to compete for these contracts. Both the wage requirements and the paperwork burden of complying with Davis-Bacon effectively shut out competition with the large union shops – which, of course, was the point of the law.
The Responsibility in Federal Contracting Act lessens the Davis-Bacon Act’s negative impacts by calculating the prevailing wage using statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This would make it much more difficult to manipulate the wage requirements and would thus increase competition for federal construction projects – saving taxpayers billions of dollars in the process.
This bill is a much-needed reform to an obsolete Great Depression-era law. I hope you’ll call your representative and ask him or her to support the Responsibility in Federal Contracting Act, H.R. 924, and to co-sponsor the bill if they have not already done so.
President and CEO,