Senate passes bill allowing DOL to pay federal contractors prevailing wages

The Senate passed a House bill Tuesday that would transfer some responsibility from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to the Department of Labor.

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) introduced the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act, H.R. 2747, which transfers authority from the GAO to the Department of Labor (DOL) to pay federal wage adjustment claims under the Davis-Bacon Act.

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Davis-Bacon requires federal contractors to be paid prevailing wages in their local area, a policy many Republicans oppose. But both parties agreed that DOL should be in charge of payments to workers who are not paid a prevailing wage, instead of the GAO.

The House passed the bill on a 396-10 vote in September. 

The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law.

The Senate passed the bill through a unanimous consent agreement before adjourning for the evening. Several military nominations were confirmed the same way.

The Senate is expected to continue work on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) for the rest of the week.