February 24, 2021

Young, Scott Reintroduce Bill to Protect Taxpayer Dollars in Government Contracting, Organizations Join in Support

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) reintroduced the Fair and Open Competition Act, which would lower government construction costs by increasing competition and provide opportunities for contractors to bid on government work. The legislation would ensure that the federal government cannot mandate project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal projects, thereby increasing competition and saving money for taxpayers. 


Earlier today, a diverse group of construction and business associations wrote a letter expressing their strong support for the legislation. 


“With a majority of America’s private construction workers not a part of a union, government-mandated PLAs are inherently unfair. I was raised by a family of small business owners and workers, and I personally understand the economic value of open competition in the workforce.  The federal government should not pick winners and losers – especially in awarding contracts,” said Senator Young. “Our bill offers a simple solution that will lower costs for taxpayers and restore competition in the construction industry, particularly while our workforce is hurting during this pandemic.” 


“The Fair and Open Competition Act would prevent federal agencies and recipients of federal assistance from requiring or encouraging contractors to sign a controversial project labor agreement as a condition of winning a federal or federally assisted taxpayer-funded construction contract,” the organizations wrote. “Your opposition to any legislative language promoting controversial government-mandated PLAs on future infrastructure and spending bills, coupled with your support of the Fair and Open Competition Act, will create a level playing field in the procurement of government construction contracts, increase competition, help small businesses grow, curb construction costs and spread the job-creating benefits of federal and federally funded contracts throughout the construction industry.”


The organizations to sign the letter include the American Council of Engineering Companies, American Fire Sprinkler Association, the American Pipeline Contractors Association, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Business Coalition for Fair Competition, the Construction Industry Round Table, the Electronic Security Association, the Independent Electrical Contractors, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the National Utility Contractors Association, the Power and Communication Contractors Association, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The full letter can be viewed here.


A copy of the legislation can be found here.