Stop Davis-Bacon Act Expansion

June 12, 2013

Seth D. Harris Acting Secretary  U.S. Department of Labor Frances Perkins Building 200 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Harris:

The undersigned organizations strongly oppose the Department of Labor’s expansion of the Davis-Bacon Act to members of survey crews.

All Agency Memorandum (AAM) 212, issued by the Wage and Hour Division on March 23, 2013, is a costly and unnecessary change in more than 50 years of accepted and settled policy.  The Department of Labor has unilaterally expanded the application of the Act to a class of workers who have never been heretofore considered “laborers and mechanics”.  Rather, survey crews work under the responsible charge of licensed, professional surveyors and their services are not directly involved in construction.

There is no rationale for this change in policy.  There has been no action by Congress, no ruling by a court, and no other recent development to change a 50+ year policy.
At a time of record deficit and debt, sequestration, and unemployment, expanding wasteful and controversial laws like the Davis-Bacon Act is ill-advised.

Finally, we are deeply concerned the Department of Labor changed its policy and expanded the coverage of the Davis-Bacon without public notice, hearings, or notification and engagement of affected stakeholders.

We respectfully recommend the immediate rescission of AAM 212.

Sincerely,
James Valvo Director of Policy Americans for Prosperity
Ivan Osorio Editorial Director Competitive Enterprise Institute
Tom Schatz President Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Dick Patten President Family Business Defense Council
Mario H. Lopez President Hispanic Leadership Fund
Hadley Heath Senior Policy Analyst Independent Women’s Forum
Brandon Arnold Vice President of Government Affairs National Taxpayers Union
David Denholm President Public Service Research Foundation
Eli Lehrer President R Street
David Williams President Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Andrew Roth Vice President of Government Affairs The Club for Growth
Timothy F. Johnson, Ph.D. Founder and President The Frederick Douglass Foundation
Philip J. Romero Professor of Business Administration and Dean Emeritus, University of Oregon Author Your Macroeconomic Edge

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