Skip to comments.Documents confirm White House pushing pro-union contracting policies
Posted on 02/23/2010 1:41:26 PM PST by Former Military Chick
Documents obtained by The Daily Caller confirm the White House is seriously considering adopting a series of proposals that would favor unionized companies bidding on federal contracts. The documents acknowledge the proposals are likely to increase the cost of government contracting and the size of the bureaucracy.
The proposals, collectively known as High Road Contracting Policy, were first reported earlier this month. The basic elements of the policy would give preference to companies bidding on federal contracts that pay their hourly workers a living wage and provide health insurance, employer-funded pension plans and paid sick days.
Following the report Republicans slammed the proposal, with Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma referring to it as backdoor card check. Other critics, led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, worry the new rules would increase the cost of government contracting by as much as 20 percent, or more than $100 billion annually, while further slowing the procurement process.
Proponents of the proposals, including the Center for American Progress and the Economic Policy Institute, argue government contracting should be used as a vehicle for expanding the middle class and many of the workers that would be impacted by the changes end up costing the government more through public assistance programs such as Medicaid and food stamps. David Madland of CAP also pointed to studies on the state and local level that show no cost increase following the implementation of similar policies.
However, in a draft of the policy obtained by The Daily Caller the administration acknowledges the proposals would increase contracting costs as well as the size of the bureaucracy. By the administrations calculations the proposals would impact as many as 26 million people:
Some part of the resulting increase in labor costs is likely to be passed on to the government in the form of higher bid prices In addition, modest staff increases may be necessary to administer the policy.
The document says those increases would be offset by savings on public assistance, productivity gains and increased price competition. Glenn Spencer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce disagreed.
One worry would be that some companies decide its just not worth it to engage in government contracting, Spencer said. Whats a little bit disturbing about [the proposal] is that it doesnt require you to pay the higher wages and additional benefits just to workers on a specific contract, but to every employee in country. The impact on employers is likely to be far greater than actual cost of contracting. On that, its pretty clear costs will go up.
EPI vice president Ross Eisenbrey pointed out that may federal contractors earn hourly wages below the poverty threshold and argued that preference should be given to companies that pay higher wages and provide other benefits.
By favoring [high road companies] we would lift the entire workforce, which as we know has been suffering wage declines and stagnation for decades, Eisenbrey said.
When contacted with regards to the documents, some of which are dated August 2009, a spokesperson for Vice President Biden sent the following:
We are not certain of the origins of this memo, but it appears to be a broad examination of the landscape surrounding these issues; it is out of date and not reflective of the current policy review ongoing in the administration. The president made it clear that he is committed to reforming government contracts to save taxpayers money while protecting workers and the environment. The administration is currently gathering data and examining the best ways to do this.
Several observers have pointed out that the measures appear to be aimed at boosting organized labor, which has been dealt a series of setbacks in recent months. Union membership is at its lowest point in decades, making the $500 billion federal contracting market attractive grounds for expansion.
Would it be advantageous for unions? That depends, Eisenbrey said. Yeah, I think its possible that union firms could benefit. I would hope that they would, that theyre winning contracts that provide paid sick leave and health benefits and so forth.
The Service Employees International Union is one of the groups most actively lobbying on behalf on the proposals but has declined multiple requests for comment in recent weeks. Spencer said organized labor is pressing for the administration to take action on this and other labor issues without involving Congress.
Unions have had a hard time advancing some of their issues through Congress, Spencer said. Theyve found some of their ideas theyd like to implement are not all that popular on the Hill. Right now theyre not that popular on the Hill. Theyre trying to work every angle they can to get some of this stuff done.
The documents also confirm that a central office would be responsible for collecting and evaluation the labor practices of all companies bidding on federal contractors. The office would then assign a score that contracting officers would have to take into account during the award process.
Every agency would also have a labor standards advocate that would have the authority to vary this score to a reasonable extent, taking into account bidders credible commitments to implement good labor standards on the contract in question. Critics contend the process would become a de facto screening for unionized companies.
The implications are not just for federal contractors across entire work force, but also state and local governments, Spencer said. It does appear to be an effort to impose some fairly ambitious social policies across wide swaths of the economy without having to resort to legislation.
This is yet another despicable underhanded political decision by this administration.
There are more than just unions in this country. Union thug leader's say republicans should be glad that they are protecting the middle class, NO THEY ARE DOING THIS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS!!
Something really needs to be done about union's, and their influence on the democratic party.
BTW, I give huge props to TheDailyCaller.com as a new news organization for getting these documents and laying it out for American's.
Leave it to Biden's staff to tapdance around the question.
Just tryin’ to squeeze out the non-union, non-illegal immigrant middle-class people who want to work hard and keep their families off welfare.
Well duh! Obama signed an executive order the first month in office to that effect!
The list, ping
Thus the “keep your eye on the Evil, Fat Cat Cankers and my insane push for legislation which almost no American wants” ploy.
Excellent comment, I will have to remember it. Thanks.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
“High Road Contracting Policy” Could Change How Government Contractors Compensate Their Employees
According to an article posted on the DC Crawler website
, the Obama administration is considering a proposal that would heavily favor government contractors that implement policies designed by organized labor.
Under current policy, government contracts are awarded based on an analysis of price, past performance, and the ability to meet the contracts specific requirements. The proposal, dubbed the High Road Contracting Policy, would give preference to labor-friendly contractors that provide its workers with wages and benefits over and above what is required under existing laws. Specifically, a procurement preference would be given to employers that provide its workers with a living wage, to include, at a minimum, health insurance, employer-funded retirement plan, and paid sick days. Contractors found to have violated labor laws would be restricted, and possibly barred, from being awarded federal contracts.
The Department of Labor would be responsible for examining the labor records of federal contractors, giving it unprecedented power and influence over the federal procurement process.
Critics contend that the proposal would introduce an arbitrary variable into the procurement process and raise the price tag on federal contracts. Stay tuned.
Wasn’t ACORN embarrassed awhile back for not paying a living wage? Am I remembering this correctly?
“Documents obtained by The Daily Caller confirm the White House is seriously considering adopting a series of proposals that would favor unionized companies bidding on federal contracts.”
In other news, water is wet and Michelle Obama has a fat ass!
The documents acknowledge the proposals are likely to increase the cost of government contracting and the size of the bureaucracy.Thanks Former Military Chick.
Thats one way for boeing to win the tanker competition. That division of NG is non union.
ping for later
Obama is 80 years too late. The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 already assures that the federal government will pay top dollar for all projects. The Department of Labor Wage Determinations set the pay scale and benefits for all federal public works jobs. There is no relationship to value or regional prevailing wages in the determinations in spite of representations to the contrary. Both union and non-union contractors must pay the minimum wages and benefits stipulated by the feds.
The idea of saving the government is just another one of Obama’s many lies.
Like a similar situation with labor union preferences with the Big Dig? And, the higher costs were not just during the contracts... but well after, when shoddy work became quite apparent, even killing an innocent woman.
Yay for Senator Coburn in blasting this proposal. He is consistent in fighting pork.
Yep. I work for a small, private company and we're *required* to meet Davis Bacon prevailing wage on all jobs over a certain dollar amount. It usually means the Post Office pays out the rear. We can do things the sane way, but it's out of the question for them.
Obama: Say one thing to the cameras, but do the complete opposite when he turns his back..
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