Biden’s New Executive Order On Federal Construction Projects Faces Criticism From the Right

President Joe Biden

House Republicans will hold a hearing to review the executive order issued by President Biden related to Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects. 

PLAs are pre-hire collective bargaining agreements between a union and contractors which sets terms of employment on construction projects before hiring employees. The hope is these PLAs streamline project labor relations ensuring smooth completion of the work without conflict maneuvering deadlines.

Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC), the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on cybersecurity, IT and government innovation, said that by mandating PLAs, the White House has “no qualms about using the federal contracting process and taxpayer dollars to bestow favors on political allies… instead of enabling fair and open competition for federal contract work.”

At a hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. this Thursday, Mace plans to open the forum by calling out President Biden as being “in the pocket of labor unions,” and characterizing his 2022 order as a “blatant move to pay back his union buddies,” a news outlet reports.

“This administration isn’t about fair competition or professional judgment; it’s about political favors and keeping union bosses happy. The American people deserve better than a president who prioritizes union coffers over the livelihoods of hardworking, non-union construction workers across the country,” Mace will say.

Ben Brubeck, one of the witnesses at the hearing, is a vice president with Associated Builders and Contractors. Brubeck plans to underscore the executive order’s harm to large, as well as small contractors by contending that it essentially discriminates against non-union firms on federal projects. 

“On behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors, I am giving a voice to the thousands of quality large and small contractors and millions of their employees who want nothing more than to compete to deliver taxpayer-funded projects safely, on time and on budget for their private and government customers,” Brubeck will say, in exclusively-obtained remarks.

Brubeck will go on to cite President Biden’s own proud claim that he is the “most pro-union president” in history.

The executive order’s mandate went into effect in January, according to a statement from the committee. However, republicans on the panel contend that this order is unfair to non-union construction companies and would create an elitist policy environment.