SWACCA and Construction Employers of America Oppose Bills to Nullify Executive Order on Use of PLAs for Large-Scale Federal Construction Projects
Today, SWACCA and its allies in the Construction Employers of America (CEA) sent a letter expressing our strong opposition to new legislation (H.R. 1209/S. 537) sponsored by Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) to overturn President Biden’s 2022 Executive Order (E.O.) 14063 on federal agencies’ use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale federal construction projects. In separate letters to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the CEA highlights that the "expanded use of PLAs ensures the federal government realizes the same cost savings, project quality and safety assurances, and project stability and continuity benefits that large U.S. corporations have enjoyed for decades...on large, complex projects."
SWACCA has long advocated for the policy established by the E.O., which created a presumption that PLAs are to be used by federal agencies for large-scale construction projects for which the cost is estimated to be $35 million or more, subject to specified exemptions. The E.O. was followed by proposed implementing regulations issued by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council last August which SWACCA advocated and supported in three distinct comment letters. SWACCA authored comments highlighting how PLAs bring structure and stability to construction projects in both the public and private sectors. SWACCA coauthored a second set of comments with CEA that urged specific clarifications to the exceptions that federal agencies could use to justify not using a PLA on large-scale projects. Finally, SWACCA joined CEA in sponsoring an independent economic analysis that was the basis for a third comment letter to the FAR Council noting flaws in the methodology underlying the small number of studies cited by opponents to assert that PLAs either increase costs or reduce qualified bids.
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