House GOP leaders call for withdrawal of ‘blacklisting rule’

House Republicans are calling on the Obama administration to withdraw a proposed rule and guidance that will force federal contractors to disclose any labor law violations it has had in the last three years when procuring contracts over $500,000.

In a letter to the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) on Wednesday, the leaders of three house committees said the administration’s actions would effectively blacklist companies from procuring government jobs and delay an already cumbersome process with new requirements.

{mosads}The agencies’ actions, which came in the form of guidance from the DOL and a proposed rule from FARC, are a byproduct of the president’s July 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order.

Not only does the executive order force federal contractors to report labor violations within the last three years, it forces contractors who have been awarded a government contract to update that information every six months.

In the letter — signed by Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn), Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and four other House Republicans — the lawmakers said they agree that bad actors who deny workers basic protections should not be rewarded with government contracts funded by tax dollars.

But they said the DOL’s existing authority for enforcement of federal labor laws is sufficient enough to hold those bad actors accountable.

“We do not see the need to implement measures through executive fiat to fix a problem that simply does not exist,” their letter said.

If the administration chooses not to withdraw the proposed guidance and rule, the lawmakers asked the agencies to extend the public comment periods by an additional 90 days. 

Tags Government procurement in the United States Jason Chaffetz Law Politics Politics of the United States United States Department of Labor United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

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