ABC Statement on Obama Administration’s High Road Contracting Policy Proposal

Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr today issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s High Road Contracting Policy proposal. According to the White House Middle-Class Task Force’s Feb. 26 annual report, the Obama administration is crafting a Responsible Federal Contracting Policy, also referred to as the High Road Contracting Policy, that will reshape the $500 billion federal contracting market.

“The provisions outlined in media reports – as well as in documents from the Center for American Progress, big labor and other special interest groups promoting this policy – fly in the face of free and open competition,” said Burr.

“The lack of transparency and accountability in the creation of this so-called High Road Contracting Policy signals the administration’s intention to reward big labor while needlessly discouraging competition from quality nonunion contractors and their employees who have delivered to the government and taxpayers the best possible product at the best possible price.

“Large and small nonunion construction contractors and their skilled employees – which make up more than 85 percent of the U.S. construction workforce – are the backbone of America’s construction industry. These hardworking men and women have a decades-long track record of meeting and exceeding existing government-determined wage and benefit laws, such as the Davis-Bacon Act, and contracting standards in the best-value evaluation process unique to the federal government’s procurement of construction services.

“This proposal may add yet another layer of bureaucracy in the federal procurement process, which will hinder rather than encourage job creation. With the U.S. construction industry already suffering from an unemployment rate of 24.7 percent – more than twice the national average – we call on the Obama administration to honor its commitment to transparency and fair government by soliciting feedback from the entire contracting community, rather than pandering to big labor,” said Burr.
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