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Public Statements

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARNAHAN. I want to first say thank you to the gentleman from New York for his efforts on this amendment and also that he has done this in a bipartisan way. I also want to thank President Obama for his executive order in doing this to encourage project labor agreements, not require them. I think they speak for themselves.

My friends on both sides of the aisle have a responsibility to the American people to get both low cost and high quality in job-creating military construction projects. Project labor agreements have a proven track record to ensure that. We should come together to support the Grimm amendment. We can help create fewer cost overruns, faster project completion and a fair day's wage for an honest day's work for American workers.

I support the Grimm amendment that strikes the anti-PLA measures in the Military Construction appropriations bill.

PLAs are simply rules of the road for workers and management on construction projects. We know they cut taxpayer spending. They save time; they save headaches. They create good, local jobs and better quality and value. Why would we not want that?

Very simply, unions prefer PLAs because they treat workers like human beings instead of investment capital. Some people here think unions are unacceptable. I think those people are wrong. History shows unions have largely helped create America's middle class and workers' rights enjoyed by all Americans, whether they are members of a union or not.

I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, if you want to help cut spending and improve efficiency, stand with American taxpayers and with American workers. Vote for the Grimm amendment. Remove the anti-PLA language to fix this bill. Let's get it right.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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