The Good Kind of Flip Flop: Davis Bacon Returns

Davis Bacon is back. Huzzah! (Refresher: This is the act that promised a prevailing wage to construction workers on federal projects -- which would be much of the rebuilding -- but was suspended by Bush almost immediately after he recognized the extent of the hurricane's damage.) Guest blogger Joshua Micah Marshall can point you in the direction of more on that.

By Emily Messner |  October 26, 2005; 10:03 PM ET  | Category:  Issue Updates
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i have a blog at and I talk about what went on outside the Naval base (tent city), outside of New Orleans.
I think that it is a shame that Bush let the construction industry and its lobby unit gear him in the way that he suspened the Davis-Bacon Act, not even thinking about the people that lived in the Gulf area and how they would make it through this type of, no bid, make the rich, richer type waiver. I also feel that the Conservatives had a role in the type deal.

Posted by: Larry Sadler | October 27, 2005 07:19 AM

i wonder if this is an attempt to keep the costs on the order of commercial buildings. are federal buildings that much better built to warrant the cost?
the prevailing wage should be what the market bears. if the pay is poor, then no one will work that job. it is only when the pay is sufficient that it will get done.
let's make it a personal question. you are building a house. using the market wages, you can get it built for 250,000. using davis bacon, it costs 500,000. both houses are built to the same quality. which route do you take?

Posted by: moses | October 27, 2005 08:15 AM Loves The Debate! Find it daily on the cover of the internet blog search engine..

Posted by: | October 27, 2005 09:48 AM

Suspending the Davis-Bacon Act didn"t mean the contractors aren:t getting goverment wage for there part they just don"t have to pay a living wage or benifits to there employees and make themself extremly wealthier. To Moses if a house is built union or non union it still bares the market price the difference is the union employees recive a living wage and benfits (health insurence vaction pay pension plain etc)where the non union didn'T AND THE CONTRACTOR MADE THE MONEY.

Posted by: larry | October 27, 2005 11:41 AM

Thanks to Representative George Miller, Democrat for California, Bush was again caught with his hand in the pockets of working people. I read that 37 Republicans joined his fight to make Bush and the Republican Congress back off the Davis-Bacon repeal. I would like to know who those Republicans were that joined Miller. Anyone know where or how that information could be found?

Posted by: Donald | October 27, 2005 03:21 PM


the contractor is still gonna make money. he isn't crazy. he has probably got a fixed profit margin associated with the project.
unlike buildings sold commercially, federally built structures don't have to bear a market price. the government is paying for it. so it doesn't matter how much it costs.
nobody does anything for free or at a disadvantage. do you really think a contractor is going to place a bid where he loses money? if there are lots of projects out there, don't you think he will accept the one that gives him the best profit margin?
don't we do the same? how many of you with several job offers accept the one with the worst pay/benefits??
how many of you have ever shopped at WalMart for a better deal?
considering the budget deficits that we face, shouldn't the government look for a good deal too? shouldn't the government's aim be to accomplish tasks as efficiently as possible.

Posted by: moses | October 27, 2005 04:49 PM

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