Congressman Steve King

Representing the 4th District of Iowa

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King Re-Introduces the Davis-Bacon Repeal Act

Jan 30, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after re-introducing the Davis-Bacon Repeal Act in the 115th Congress along with Senator Mike Lee, who introduced the companion bill in the Senate:

“No one can claim to be a fiscal conservative if they think the federal government needs to inflate the cost of wages,” said King. “Originally passed in Congress in the 1930’s, the last Jim Crow Law left in America to keep African Americans out of the Labor force in New York, the Davis-Bacon wage scale is an outdated law that sets the federal wage scale at union scale. I first dealt with Davis-Bacon wage scales when I started my construction company in 1975. The federal government dictated wage scale to all of my employees on federally funded projects. Micromanaging and disrupting the efficiencies in our businesses has ultimately resulted in an average of 20% higher costs to taxpayers. Simply put, we are bleeding red ink in the federal government. Rather than increasing costs by billions of dollars and restricting our free market, all that should be required is for the employer and the employee to agree on salary and benefits."

“The Davis-Bacon Act is an 80-year-old wage subsidy law that requires all federally funded projects worth more than $2,000 to pay workers a so-called ‘prevailing wage,’” Sen. Mike Lee said. “However, the ‘prevailing wage’ is determined not by market forces operating in reality, but by federal bureaucrats operating in Washington, DC. As a result, federal contractors are charged, on average, a 22 percent premium on their labor costs above what private companies pay for the same project. Repealing the outdated, costly Davis-Bacon Act will give federal contractors the ability to hire more workers of all skill level, while lowering the overall costs of federal transportation construction projects.”

To view the original text of the bill, click here.

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