The US House of Representatives will this week vote on legislation to fund the Highway Trust Fund. During consideration of this legislation, Congress should attach legislation introduced by Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) that prevents Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements from being applied to highway projects.

This common-sense amendment will ensure the federal government better spends finite taxpayer resources on important highway projects. ATR urges this amendment to be ruled in order by the House Rules Committee so Congress can vote to ensure taxpayer dollars are responsibly spent on infrastructure.

Under the Davis-Bacon Act, the federal government is required to pay contractors working on federally funded construction projects prevailing market wages. Unfortunately, the Department of Labor currently uses a highly flawed methodology to determine fair market wage, which results in workers receiving up to 22 percent above market value.

As a result of this flawed methodology, the DoL prevailing wage bears no resemblance to fair market value. In some cases the wage is over 50 percent higher, while in others the prevailing wage is actually lower than fair market value.  

By preventing federal highway dollars from being wasted on Davis-Bacon prevailing wage, Congressman King’s amendment ensures that finite resources are spent in a more responsible way and infrastructure projects pay workers a wage that truly reflects the free market.

The House Rules Committee ought to allow the House to vote on this important legislation as an amendment to the Highway Trust fund, and all members of Congress should support this common-sense amendment.