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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Bring Home the Davis-Bacon!

Bring Home the Davis-Bacon!

[UPDATE] We won! In the face of being defeated by a house vote, shrubya backed off from the Davis-Bacon suspension! Go Rep. Miller! Please do send him some love.


Before the ink was even dry on Halliburton's no-bid contracts to rebuild the Katrina-ravaged Gulf of Mexico, shrubya also mandated suspension of the Davis-Bacon act, which amounts to suspending minimum wage requirements.

The Davis-Bacon Act as amended, requires that each contract over $2,000 to which the United States or the District of Columbia is a party for the construction, alteration, or repair of public buildings or public works shall contain a clause setting forth the minimum wages to be paid to various classes of laborers and mechanics employed under the contract. Under the provisions of the Act, contractors or their subcontractors are to pay workers employed directly upon the site of the work no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits paid on projects of a similar character. The Davis-Bacon Act directs the Secretary of Labor to determine such local prevailing wage rates.

In addition to the Davis-Bacon Act itself, Congress has added prevailing wage provisions to approximately 60 statutes which assist construction projects through grants, loans, loan guarantees, and insurance. These "related Acts" involve construction in such areas as transportation, housing, air and water pollution reduction, and health. If a construction project is funded or assisted under more than one Federal statute, the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provisions may apply to the project if any of the applicable statutes require payment of Davis-Bacon wage rates.


That's right - we still can't entertain the notion of repealing tax-cuts for the rich or re-instating the dividends tax. No; the only way to keep these reconstruction costs managable is to screw the workers out of living wages. Could anything fly more in the face of the trickle-down justification for such tax-cuts?

Thankfully, Congressman George Miller (D-CA) has taken action. Shorty after shrubya issued his proclamation, Miller introduced a bill to overturn it; but it has languished in the House since then. Surprise, surprise. But Miller has also found a little-used statute that enables the Dem House leadership to force a vote on his bill.

Now, Miller is finally able to force a vote in the House on the wage cut issue. Miller today introduced a Joint Resolution under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, which provides for fast track action by Congress when the President unilaterally suspends a law, as he did with Davis-Bacon. Although the National Emergencies Act is nearly 30 years old, this is the first time that a lawmaker has ever invoked its fast track procedures. By law, Congress must act on Miller’s Joint Resolution within 15 calendar days – in this case, by November 4.


So, you heard the man! We have until Nov. 4th - roughly two weeks - to call/email/write/fax our Congress members to make sure they support Miller's proposal to reinstate Davis-Bacon. And letters to the editor are great, too, provided you actually write them, of course.

Now if we could just get someone to introduce "Anti-profiteering" legislation...but God forbid we dip into Halliburton's profits for the good of the commonwealth. Or something.



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1 Comments:

Anonymous Wong Online PoKér Hu said...

Thanks for posting this news. I have been following this issue since i saw it in the internet. Now I have a clear perspactive on the relevant issues presented in the case.

5:15 PM  

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