Sending Office: Honorable Paul A. Gosar
H.R. 1042 – The Responsibility in Federal Contracting Act
Support a Bill to Cut Waste, Create Jobs, and Save Billions
Cosponsors (9): DesJarlais,
Duncan (SC), Duncan (TN),
Franks, Hensarling, Jones,
Rice (SC), Schweikert,
I invite you to support a bill 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). 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
I propose substituting the current wage determination with statistically sampled information from the BLS so that we are able to spend federal dollars in a more efficient manner on more projects and support more jobs. The BLS has proven time and time again
that they are the only agency capable of accurately determining these wages. The Responsibility in Federal Contracting Act is about competition, equality, accuracy and transparency for everyone. Join me in support of this commonsense initiative.
For more information or to support this bill please contact Joshua Ronk at 202-225-2315 or at
Joshua.Ronk@mail.house.gov. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.
Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.
Member of Congress
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