WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) introduced H.R. 1209, the Fair and Open Competition Act (FOCA), to prevent the federal government from discriminating against contractors based on labor affiliation and require neutrality on Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) in federal procurement.
Upon introduction, Chairman Comer said:
“President Biden’s Project Labor Agreement order favors labor unions, raises taxpayer-funded construction costs, and freezes local workers out of cooperative federal projects. At a time when our economy continues to face a Biden-induced recession around the corner, President Biden’s policy further harms local economies, workers, and taxpayers.
“The Fair and Open Competition Act will prevent the Biden Administration from discriminating against contractors based on labor affiliation by preserving open competition for non-union contractors. This is a crucial step to ensure that the over 80 percent of the U.S. construction workforce who does not belong to a union gets a fair shot at these crucial projects.”
Last February, President Biden issued an executive order requiring federal contracting agencies to mandate PLAs on federal construction projects worth $35 million or more. PLAs require that union workers perform all labor on a project.
Twenty-four states have also enacted state-level laws prohibiting government-mandated PLAs for state, state-assisted, and local construction events. Chairman Comer’s legislation is supported by a coalition of twenty-two business groups representing millions of workers, as well as over a dozen taxpayer advocate groups.
FOCA has received the support of dozens of business groups representing millions of workers: American Concrete Pumping Association, American Fire Sprinkler Association, American Pipeline Contractors Association, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, Business Coalition for Fair Competition, Construction Industry Round Table, Electronic Security Association, HR Policy Association, Independent Electrical Contractors, National Association of Home Builders, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, National Precast Concrete Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, National Utility Contractors Association, Plastics Pipe Institute, Power and Communication Contractors Association, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Association, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Taxpayer advocate groups have also lent their support for FOCA: 60 Plus Association, American Consumer Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Center for Individual Freedom, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, Less Government, National Taxpayers Union, and Open Competition Center.
FOCA has 79 original cosponsors.