Waxman-Markey, Davis-Bacon, Herbert Hoover

Now that the full bill is available in a searchable form, there’s much of interest. From page 1024 of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and when we say “security” we really mean for the labor unions:

(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and in a manner consistent with other provisions in this Act, to receive emission allowances or funding under this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, the recipient shall provide reasonable assurances that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, or by any entity established in accordance with this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, including the Carbon Storage Research Corporation, will be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code (commonly known as the ‘‘Davis-Bacon Act’’). With respect to the labor standards specified in this section, the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267; 5 U.S.C. App.) and section 3145 of title 40, United States Code.

In a world where the federal government is parceling out favors according to your carbon dioxide emissions, this section embraces pretty pretty much everything in the world of manufacturing, energy production, and construction.

Well, except for homes and apartment buildings. There’s an exemption for them.

But otherwise, this bill would represent the great single expansion of the prevailing wage’s hold over the U.S. economy since President Hoover signed the Davis-Bacon Act into law in 1931. (Passage then was viewed as a way to keep lower-priced black and immigrant laborers from competing with white workers. The law still disadvantages minority employees.)

Isn’t it strange to see the demonized Herbert Hoover in such favor with the cap-and-trade-and-command-and-control supporters in Congress?

Leave a Reply