Monday, October 31, 2005

Administration To Nix Suspension of Federal Wage Law

In the immediate wake of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush issued an executive order to suspend the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, which requires federal contractors to pay at least the prevailing wages in the area where the work is being conducted.

But last week the administration yielded to growing bipartisan pressure and agreed to reinstate the workers rights law. The reversal will take effect Nov. 8.

The shift comes days after Rep. George Miller (D-CA) announced that he would use an obscure law to force a congressional vote on the act's suspension early next month. Miller had strong bipartisan support, and was likely to win the vote.

"This wage cut was a mistake from the beginning and never should have been ordered," Miller said. "But today's news is a victory for workers in the Gulf Coast and all over America."

Miller was one of the most vocal members of Congress when the law was suspended, accusing Bush of "using the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to cut the wages of people desperately trying to rebuild their lives and their communities."

***

Bush, parroting the language in a letter he received earlier that week from House Republicans, actually claimed at the time that the law needed to be suspended in the name of deficit reduction.

But that was just empty conservative spin. Think about the logic. Instead of adding $125 billion to the federal debt, suspending the act dropped the cost of Hurricane Katrina to what, $120 billion?

An administration spokesman said last week that it was allowed to temporary waive Davis-Bacon, and that its action was due to special conditions. But that, too, is empty spin.

Republicans have long opposed Davis-Bacon, charging that it amounts to a taxpayer subsidy to unions. Rest assured, if the votes hadn't been there in Congress to nix the administration's plans, Davis-Bacon would have vanished forever, just like the surplus Bush inherited from President Clinton.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Bouncy Ball said...

Uh deficit reduction?
I have an idea for that. BRING HOME OUR TROOPS AND STOP KILLING IRAQIS.

How's THAT for deficit reduction?

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Tom Shaw said...

C'mon! It doesn't cost a thing to kill Iraqis. They're worthless, everybody knows that.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Ditto said...

Sounds like flip-flops in the Delta mud. Guess Rove isn't there to keep W on the 'Right' track.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Shaw is kidding, right?
Killing Iraqis is so inexpensive that we're spending upwards of $200 billion to do so.
And they are so worthless to us that they -- and to a far lessor extent Al Quada members -- are killing U.S. soldiers at an increasingly rapid clip.
While no human being is "worthless", the Bush administration values Iraqis highly enough to spend billions of dollars slaughtering them because they stand in the way of the oilfields.
I know this discussion was supposed to be about the Bush flip-flop on wage contracts. Yet I believe no discussion on Bush administration's purported attempts at fiscal responsibility should exclude a discussion on the complete fiscal disaster it has wrought upon this country through its' complete fiasco in Iraq.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

It's about bloody time. I always like to see democracy work, especially given how dedicated the Republican leadership seems to be on ensuring that it never works again. My hat's off to Miller.

9:23 PM  

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