WASHINGTON, D.C. | February 2, 2017
All workers deserve strong protections, and for decades, a system has been in place to ensure employers conducting business with the federal government are held to high standards.
Unfortunately, rather than ensuring this system works efficiently, the Obama administration concocted a harmful regulatory scheme, known as the “blacklisting” rule, that does just the opposite. Not only does the rule increase costs for taxpayers, hurt workers, jeopardize national security
, and violate due process rights, it’s also redundant and completely unnecessary. But don’t just take our word for it.
In October, following a federal district court decision to block
enforcement of the rule, the Congressional Progressive Caucus admitted the rule was unnecessary when Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said
We urge the Department of Labor to uphold business integrity by denying contracts to labor standard violators. The Department has full authority to hold contractors accountable under current law, regardless of this injunction.
As one witness, Angela Styles, said during a 2015 Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on the blacklisting rule:
There is already a whole body of labor, and labor law remedies, designed by Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure labor law compliance, so there is no sensible reason to introduce this duplicative and inefficient bureaucracy.
The facts are clear: There is already a system in place to hold federal contractors accountable. Adding another layer of bureaucracy makes the system designed to protect workers less efficient. It also makes it harder for small businesses to compete for federal contracts and undermines our nation’s military readiness. That’s why the House will vote today on a resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res 37) to block the rule from taking effect and prevent its costly consequences.
As Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said when the resolution was introduced:
This blacklisting rule doesn’t make sense. Federal agencies already have the tools they need to hold contractors accountable. 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. We look forward to working with the new administration to ensure responsible regulatory policies are in place, worker protections are enforced, and taxpayer dollars are well-spent.
Since Democrats and Republicans both agree the blacklisting rule is redundant and unnecessary, it’s time to stand together and pass this commonsense resolution. Let’s encourage federal agencies to use the tools they already have to enforce protections for workers without hurting small businesses, taxpayers, and our Armed Forces in the process.