Will the infrastructure bill be a giant payoff for big labor?

A large crane is in the middle of an industrial area.

Excerpt from op-ed by NILRR.org’s Stan Greer in The Hill.

At the end of July, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee passed S. 2302, a $287 billion bipartisan infrastructure package.

The legislation was unanimously approved in committee, and President Trump has expressed his support via Twitter. There is, however, a catch to consider this Labor Day — the bill has glaring blind spots that give union leaders control to spend taxpayer dollars without reins.

Today, Davis-Bacon continues to serve a discriminatory function, limiting federal projects to politically-connected unionized firms at the expense of the 87.2 percent of American construction workers who choose not to affiliate with a union.

Congress has a responsibility to all citizens to ensure that their tax dollars are being spent effectively. By repealing Davis-Bacon, Congress could potentially fund four projects for every three we can fund under the current wage regime without increasing spending by a dime.

Davis-Bacon has been suspended four times by presidents of both parties.

This infrastructure bill represents an opportunity to enact desperately-needed reforms and save taxpayers billions. Congress, and President Trump, would do well not to squander it.

Stan Greer is a senior research associate for the National Institute for Labor Relations Research.