Sending Office: Honorable Paul A. Gosar
Sent By:
Joshua.Ronk@mail.house.gov

CHAIRMAN THORNEBERRY SUPPORTS THE GOSAR AMENDMENT

DID YOU KNOW:

  • In some cities, the Wage and Hour Division calculated wages are 75% higher than the actual prevailing wage.  In other areas throughout the country they are
    below minimum wage and only 33% of the actual prevailing wage.
  • Some figures have not even been updated since the 1970s.
  • Overall, these wage rates average 22% above market wages—inflating the cost of federal construction projects, keeping employers from hiring more workers, and locking low-skilled workers out of many construction jobs for which they could otherwise be hired.
  • A reputable economic analysis projected that using the statistical calculation in this amendment government-wide would have saved the federal government nearly
    $11 billion in 2011 alone.

 

BOTTOM LINE:

Contractors deserve a fair wage that is calculated correctly. An incorrect wage, whether it is high or low, is not fair to the worker or the American taxpayer. This amendment would improve the prevailing wage calculation and bring certainty and transparency
to DoD contractor paychecks

The Gosar amendment strengthens the integrity and intent of Davis-Bacon by ensuring transparency and accuracy in the calculation of prevailing wages.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will ensure government contractors will receive the fair wages they deserve while promoting transparency, accuracy, and responsible use of taxpayer dollars.

 

Endorsements and Industry Support: Heritage Action (key-voting), FreedomWorks (key-voting), Americans for Tax Reform, Associated Builders and Contractors, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Independent Electrical Contractors,
Taxpayer Protection Alliance

 

 

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to support my amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require the calculation of wages for public works projects be based on actual statistics calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as opposed to the current
process which determines these rates based on fundamentally flawed surveys within the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) within the Department of Defense (DoD).  A 2008 Department of Labor Inspector General (IG) report found that “one or more errors existed in 100
percent of the wage reports.”  Research conducted by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that upwards of $13 billion could be wasted over 10 years if Davis-Bacon is left unreformed.  Another reputable economic analysis projected that reforming
the current method would have saved the federal government nearly $11 billion in 2011 alone.

The current fundamentally flawed calculation dates back to the 1930’s and is riddled with fraud and abuse as evidenced by multiple IG and Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports.  The prevailing wage is so difficult to determine under the current
system that the GAO has repeatedly called for its repeal since 1979. In some cities, the WHD determined wages are 75 percent higher than the actual prevailing wage.  In other areas throughout the country they are below minimum wage and only 33% of the actual
prevailing wage.  Some figures have not even been updated since the 1970s. Overall, these wage rates average 22% above market wages—inflating the cost of federal construction projects, keeping employers from hiring more workers, and locking low-skilled workers
out of many construction jobs for which they could otherwise be hired. Republican and Democrat Presidents have suspended the law in tough economic times in order to stimulate the economy, as well as during times of national emergency (e.g., Hurricane Katrina
in 2005).

My amendment would ensure the current wage determination for DoD contracts with statistically sampled information from the BLS so that we are able to spend federal dollars in a more efficient manner and support more jobs.  The BLS has proven time and time
again that they are the only agency capable of accurately determining these wages.  This amendment would not repeal Davis-Bacon. It’s about competition, equality, accuracy and transparency for everyone.

A fair wage, for a fair job, is fair to the American taxpayer!

For more information please contact Joshua Ronk at 202-225-2315 or at
Joshua.Ronk@mail.house.gov
. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.

 

Sincerely,

Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.
Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Affairs, Government, Homeland Security, Labor
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