Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Van Hilleary called for the repeal of Davis-Bacon Act - a move that he said could save taxpayers an estimated $2 billion dollars annually. Mr. Hilleary pledged to fight for the permanent repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act if elected to the U.S. Senate.
"The prevailing wage set by the Davis Bacon Act is much higher than market based wages, it drives up the cost of federal government projects for all taxpayers and it should be repealed," he said.
Davis-Bacon requires that contractors working on federally funded construction projects pay workers a "prevailing wage," that is proven to be much higher than market-based wages and leads to higher costs for federal projects, he said. According to the CATO Institute a repeal of Davis Bacon could save taxpayers over $2 billion per year.
When Davis-Bacon was enacted during the Great Depression, lawmakers recognized that the cost inflation imposed by the Act was extremely costly and counterproductive to economic growth, so they allowed for the President to suspend the law during national emergencies, he said. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina President Bush has suspended the Act's application to federally funded construction projects in the devastated Gulf Coast.
Mr. Hilleary said he believes that the Act is a burden to economic development and to taxpayers. He has pledged to fight for its permanent repeal in the U.S. Senate. "The cost inflation created by Davis-Bacon isn't just economically counterproductive during times of tragedy it is always counterproductive. We should repeal the Act once and for all," said Mr. Hilleary.
"President Bush was right to suspend the Davis-Bacon Act. Any policy that strangles growth is bad policy for working folks. I will stand up to the politically powerful, liberal labor union lobbyist who are promoting polices that are not in the interests of working families by continuing to protect the anti-growth Davis-Bacon Act. As Tennessee's next U.S. Senator I will work to repeal the Act," concluded Mr. Hilleary.