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Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LaTOURETTE. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

I tell this story every time we talk about Davis-Bacon.

Davis and Bacon were Republicans, and what was occurring was that you had out-of-town workers coming into New York City to build a hospital, undercutting the local labor market at a time when a lot of people were out of work. That's what Davis-Bacon is.

Quite frankly, the last test we had on Davis-Bacon was during the hurricanes down in the gulf coast when President Bush suspended it for a period of time. We made the case to him that you weren't saving any money. Not only weren't you saving any money, but you were having workers come in because there weren't the anti-kickback provisions, so the payrolls didn't have to be submitted; and you had a lot of illegal workers coming down who still live in Louisiana, undercutting the local labor market.

So I get that we don't like unions on this side of the aisle. But I've got to tell you, if you look at the labor rates for operating backhoes and everything else in the gentleman's, the author of the amendment, a carpenter makes $14.45 under Davis-Bacon, and a backhoe operator makes $14.53.

Quite frankly, Mr. Chairman, I don't want somebody who's operating a backhoe near my house making less than that.


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