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Public Statements

Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. STUTZMAN. I thank the gentleman from Iowa for bringing this amendment forward.

Mr. Chairman, I just want to share with you a little story that we experienced over the past couple of years with Davis-Bacon. I think that the people we often forget about here when we get into these debates are the taxpayers, themselves. The taxpayers are the ones who have to foot the bill for the wages that Davis-Bacon drives up.

After the stimulus bill was passed a couple of years ago, even though I opposed the idea of what the stimulus bill was going to do, we in our community had been taking the initiative to put in sewer systems around our lakes and our rivers to protect our soil and our resources. After a couple of projects that had already been bid out without Davis-Bacon wages, the company contacted our office and said, Hey, we would like to apply for stimulus dollars to help drive our costs down on these particular projects.

Well, after doing some research, because they did not bid the projects with Davis-Bacon wages, they were ineligible, and therefore were going to be paying higher rates. They were also going to be paying the contractors, themselves, at a lower wage because they were not eligible for the stimulus money, money which would have put infrastructure into our communities, allowing for the building of long-term assets in our communities. Instead, they were ineligible because they had not bid Davis-Bacon wages.

I think it's very important that we remember the taxpayers, who have to fund these projects because of the higher costs, and I think it's important that we also remember that each community individually recognizes that their labor costs are different and that they shouldn't always be required to deal with Federal standards.

I appreciate the gentleman from Iowa for bringing his amendment forward, and I ask that you support it.

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