House Panel Moves PLA Bill

AGC-backed legislation opposing government-mandated project labor agreements advances through a House committee but faces significant challenges ahead.

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee on July 12 passed on a 22-20 vote the AGC-backed Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1209 / S. 537) that would prohibit government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on direct federal and federal-aid construction projects. The bill would not prohibit all PLAs, as a firm could still voluntarily enter into a PLA. AGC members can encourage their members of Congress to support the bill by contacting their members of Congress HERE.

The bill faces significant hurdles, however, in advancing beyond this point. Similar legislation failed overwhelmingly in June during the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill by a count of 22 in support and 42 in opposition. It also seems unlikely for the Democratic-controlled Senate to consider the bill.

Meanwhile, a Biden administration proposed rule to mandate PLAs on direct federal projects of $35 million or more is still working its way through the regulatory process. It is unclear exactly when it will be finalized and applicable. AGC is prepared to file suit against this rule if and when it is finalized.

AGC of America neither supports nor opposes contractors’ voluntary use of PLAs on government projects or elsewhere but strongly opposes any government mandate for their use. The association is committed to free and open competition for publicly funded work and has long maintained that the federal government should not mandate PLAs.

More information on government-mandated PLAs can be found on the AGC website.

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