The House has voted to block an Obama administration regulation that would require prospective federal contractors to disclose past violations of labor and workplace-safety laws to qualify to bid on federal work.
Construction contractor groups praised the 236-187, basically party line, vote on Feb. 2, to disapprove what they call the “blacklisting” rule.
The next step is Senate action. Defenders of the regulation, generally Democrats, face a tough challenge there, because the House-passed resolution falls under the Congressional Review Act, which requires only a simple majority in each chamber for approval. The GOP holds a 52-48 Senate majority.
The regulation, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule, has the support of organized labor. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement after the rule was announced last August that it would “make our contracting system more fair and accountable, which is good for working families, law-abiding employers, and communities. “
To the Associated Builders and Contractors, an opponent of the regulation, the rule “would have treated frivolous accusations of wrongdoing as rounds to prohibit qualified contractors from performing federal work,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs.
The regulation, issued by the multi-agency Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, is on hold, due to a federal district court’s temporary injunction issued on Oct. 24, one day before the rule was to take effect.