House GOP to Obama: Withdraw Executive Order on federal contractors

Barack Obama -- August 2013
Barack Obama

Washington – House Republicans are calling on the Obama administration to withdraw a proposed requirement that would force federal contractors to disclose labor law violations.

In a letter sent July 15 to the Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, chairs of several House committees asserted that the new rule and accompanying guidance would impose a “new and burdensome” reporting requirement.

The FAR Council and DOL proposed the rule and guidance document, respectively, in response to the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order President Barack Obama issued a year ago. Expected to be implemented in 2016, the order requires any employer seeking a federal contract valued at more than $500,000 to make known any violations cited by a DOL agency, including OSHA.

The administration says the order will ensure contracts are awarded to employers who comply with federal labor laws, and supporters say the disclosure would be as simple as checking a box.

However, House GOP members claim current federal labor laws are sufficient for barring “bad actors” from receiving contracts. If the proposed guidance and rule are not withdrawn, the legislators are asking the White House to extend the comment period by 90 days. The administration already has extended the comment period by two weeks to Aug. 11.