ABC Hails Failure of Senate Bill That Would Harm U.S. Workers

Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today commended the U.S. Senate on blocking legislation that would expand Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws and fund a “green jobs” program exclusively for union workers. A substitute amendment, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to the “Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008” (S. 3036), fell short of the 60 votes necessary to close debate on the measure.

“We are pleased that members of the U.S. Senate realized this legislation is a slap in the face of hard-working Americans,” said ABC President and CEO Kirk Pickerel. “There is no justification in supporting a bill that would negatively impact millions of workers who chose not to belong to a union – 86 percent of the U.S. construction workforce.”

The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act expands Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates to construction, alterations or repairs made to any facility that generates renewable energy and to programs for low or zero carbon emission technology facilities and carbon-capturing programs. It also creates a source of funding for the Green Jobs Act that excludes nonunion workers from training programs.

In a letter sent to Senators, ABC pointed out that Davis-Bacon wage determinations are susceptible to fraud and that a 2004 report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General found errors in nearly100 percent of the wage surveys.  The letter also stated that the Davis-Bacon Act is a strain on small businesses and minority workers and that it excludes the majority of contractors from competing for projects.
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Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association representing nearly 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 78 chapters across the United States. Visit us at