Republicans plan to slam latest Biden union assist in Thursday oversight hearing



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House Republicans are preparing to scrutinize an executive order by President Biden on the use of “project labor agreements” that critics call a “radical departure” from typical competitive contracting procedures.

Project labor agreements, or PLAs, are pre-hire collective bargaining pacts negotiated between unions and construction contractors to establish terms of employment, according to the Labor Department.

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on cybersecurity, IT and government innovation, said that by mandating PLAs, the White House has “no qualms about using the federal contracting process and taxpayer dollars to bestow favors on political allies… instead of enabling fair and open competition for federal contract work.”

At a hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday, Mace will open the forum by calling out President Biden as being “in the pocket of labor unions,” and characterizing his 2022 order as a “blatant move to pay back his union buddies,” Fox News has learned exclusively.

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“This administration isn’t about fair competition or professional judgment; it’s about political favors and keeping union bosses happy. The American people deserve better than a president who prioritizes union coffers over the livelihoods of hardworking, non-union construction workers across the country,” Mace will say.

Ben Brubeck, one of the witnesses at the hearing, is a vice president with Associated Builders and Contractors. He and Louisiana Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority executive director Glenn Ledet and Cianbro vice president Aric Dreher all plan to offer similarly biting testimony about the effects the order will have on their ability to bid for government contracts.

In his remarks, Brubeck will criticize the order’s effect on his business, and take issue with the idea that in order to bid for federal work, his organization will have to engage in collective bargaining pacts earlier in the hiring process.

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“On behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors, I am giving a voice to the thousands of quality large and small contractors and millions of their employees who want nothing more than to compete to deliver taxpayer-funded projects safely, on time and on budget for their private and government customers,” Brubeck will say, in exclusively-obtained remarks.

“But they are effectively boxed out from doing so via government protectionism benefiting special interests that is the foundation of the Biden administration’s harmful pro-PLA policies,” he will say.

Brubeck will go on to cite President Biden’s own proud claim that he is the “most pro-union president” in history.

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The executive order’s mandate went into effect in January, according to a statement from the committee. Republicans on the panel have claimed the order discriminates against non-union construction firms.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the subject matter of the hearing.



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