Judge Blocks Biden’s Wage Rule

(WatchDogReport.org) – US District Judge Sam Cummings recently blocked a Biden administration wage rule that expanded the requirements for construction contractors to pay the prevailing wages on federally funded infrastructure projects worth $200 billion.

The law’s halt, which took place in Lubbock, Texas, will only be temporary pending the outcome of litigation from America’s Associated General Contractors, which is one of the biggest trade groups in the country.

Cummings wrote that the US Labor Department doesn’t have the power to impose or extend prevailing wage requirements every time a government agency fails to include them in contracts. The federal judge, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, added that US President Joe Biden and some agencies were executing “violence” to the Constitution by attempting to amend “Acts of Congress” for political purposes.

The Davis-Bacon Act, which is a law that has been established since the era of the New Deal, orders the US Labor Department to establish wage floors for construction projects funded by the federal government. These minimum wages are determined by the prevailing wages for specific jobs in particular geographic areas across the country.

In its lawsuit, which was filed in November 2023, Associated General Contractors formally challenged two provisions from the Biden administration’s law. One revived a method that calculated those wages as they excluded lower-paid workers. The other one made numerous changes, including an “operation of law” to the prevailing wage standards, which means that these will always be in effect and that many agencies can stop including them in their contracts.

Political reporters have said on social media that, following its litigation, many other trade groups across the United States are also challenging the Biden administration in another pending lawsuit because of the law changes. Political analysts have said that such legal issues might affect President Biden’s popularity in the wake of the 2024 presidential election.

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