Charles S. Clark | February 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Contractors Applaud House Vote to Kill Obama Fair Pay, Safe Workplace Rule

Architect of the Capitol

Two major contracting groups hailed House passage on Thursday of a long-expected resolution to undo the Obama administration’s 2014 “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” order requiring contractors to report past violations of 14 labor laws.

House joint resolution 37, sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., declares that the implementation rule submitted in August by the Defense Department, General Services Administration, and NASA relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation has no effect.

It passed 236-187 amid a series of votes using the 1996 Congressional Review Act to nullify regulations enacted in the past 60 days. (Other rules involved streams protection, land management royalties and Social Security rules on gun purchase background checks for people with mental disabilities.)

“We welcome the House action,” said David Berteau, president and CEO of the 400-member Professional Services Council, in a statement. “The blacklisting rule fails to provide companies with basic due process, imposes significant new and non-value added reporting requirements, and risks denying federal buyers access to the best private-sector providers to meet government needs. With the disapproval of this rule by the House, and we hope with prompt action by the Senate and then signature by the president, a significant overhang will be removed from the acquisition process.”

That view was echoed by the Associated Builders and Contractors, whose local affiliate had filed a successful court challenge to block the rule from taking effect last fall. That group “has vigorously fought the Obama administration’s illegal blacklisting rule, which would have treated frivolous accusations of wrongdoing as grounds to prohibit qualified contractors from performing federal work," said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck.

House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, said the vote was necessary because “the blacklisting rule will force innocent small businesses to settle unproven claims, disclose commercially sensitive information to their competitors, and report information the federal government already has,” which ultimately forces small businesses to go under. 

But Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., opposed rolling back the order, citing opposition from veterans, civil rights and business groups such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association. He warned that “Congress will be putting employees of federal contractors at greater risk of wage theft or unsafe working conditions” and that “law-abiding companies will be forced into unfair competition with lawbreakers.”

Comments
JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.