Chao Says Wage Protections In President's Infrastructure Package

June 9, 2017

During Thursday's meeting of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said wage protections as presented in the Davis-Bacon Act will be included in the administration's proposed infrastructure plan.

 “The administration’s proposal is to include Davis-Bacon,” Chao told lawmakers. “For the infrastructure proposal, I’d like to see it passed, and I understand that without the provision, the minority would not sign on.”

The Davis-Bacon Act was put in place in 1931 and has set standards for how workers on federal projects are paid, requiring those workers be paid a prevailing wage.

It is unclear from Secretary Chao's statements if the Davis-Bacon Act will be allowed to stand as it is or if the administration intends to propose 'Davis-Bacon like' requirements. Advocates for the Act's repeal say more construction jobs would become available. Opponents have pledged to fight any reconfiguring or elimination of federal prevailing wage legislation.

Last month Missouri passed a bill that bans government agencies from requiring project labor agreements such as Davis-Bacon on state funded projects.

The meeting's focus was on the proposed plans to update the nation's airports, general aviation, and FAA. The full video of the June 8 Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure meeting is available here: