Ranking Member DeFazio Dear Colleague: Oppose the Graves Amendment (#10)
September 28, 2016
Oppose the Graves Amendment (#10)
Which Waives Davis-Bacon Worker Protections
to H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act of 2016
I strongly urge you to vote “no” on the Graves Amendment (#10) to H.R. 5303, the “Water Resources Development Act of 2016”, which waives the prevailing wage protections provided by the Davis-Bacon Act for water resources projects carried out by non-Federal interests.
This amendment claims to find ways to make projects more “cost effective” and to promote more “efficient project delivery” – but to accomplish this task, the amendment eliminates the requirement that projects constructed using Federal funds ensure that construction workers are paid the prevailing wage for the location where the project is located.
Simply put, Davis-Bacon provides a Federal floor of protections for construction workers that promotes efficient and effective project construction, as well as guarantees a living wage for American workers.
As the Building and Construction Trades noted in their enclosed September 28, 2016 letter:
Whether or not Congressman Graves intent was to strip workers of wage protections the effect is the same: if enacted the impact of this amendment on American construction workers would be disastrous. It would strip them of their ability to ply their craft with dignity and to earn a fair wage to provide for their families.
The Graves amendment eliminates these worker protections by providing Federal funds directly to non-Federal interests for carrying out water resources projects, with no strings attached.
I urge you to stand up for American workers and oppose the Graves amendment to H.R. 5303.
***In addition, the following groups have voiced their opposition to the Graves Amendment.