GOP members offer resolution to repeal ‘blacklisting’ labor rule

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Republicans in the House and Senate took the first steps Monday to repeal a labor regulation from the Obama administration that requires all federal contractors bidding on contracts over $500,000 to report any labor law violations they’ve had in the last three years.

Reps. Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Steve Chabot (Ohio) and Paul Mitchell (Mich.), along with Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), issued a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the labor regulation that opponents have dubbed the “blacklisting rule.”

The CRA gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to repeal a rule through a resolution after it’s been finalized. 

The rule, finalized in August, requires prospective contractors to disclose any violation of the 14 basic workplace protections, including wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections. 

{mosads}In October, a federal judge granted a request from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to temporarily block the rule a day before it was set to take effect for contracts worth $50 million or more. The rule was not scheduled to extend to any contract worth $500,000 or more until April 25, 2017.

The ABC requested the temporary stay while it challenges the rule in court. The national trade group claims that the regulation finalized in August “blacklists” prospective firms from the procurement process, a charge Republicans agree with.

“Federal agencies already have the tools they need to hold contractors accountable,” Foxx said in a statement. “Adding an unnecessary layer of red tape would only hurt workers and small businesses, increase costs for taxpayers, and threaten the resources our men and women in uniform rely on.”

The rule is a byproduct of former President Obama’s July 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order.

The lawmakers, however, claim the best way to ensure fair pay and safe workplaces is to enforce existing suspension and debarment rules. 

Tags Congressional Review Act Jason Chaffetz Lamar Alexander Ron Johnson Virginia Foxx

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