Maryland’s construction industry and taxpayers have a friend in Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and need to send him back to Washington Nov. 6.
TheTruthAboutPLAs.com readers know Rep. Bartlett has worked tirelessly to ensure federal construction contracts are truly open to all of Maryland’s qualified businesses and construction workforce instead of only well-connected special interests and out-of-state contractors and union members.
As a result of regulations and federal agency policies stemming from President Obama’s pro-government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to mandate PLAs on a case-by-case basis for federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost, the U.S. and Maryland’s nonunion contractors and their skilled nonunion employees have been placed at an unfair competitive disadvantage. That’s more than 88 percent of Maryland’s construction workforce harmed by pro-special interest policies.
Big Labor pushes for government-mandated PLAs and sends campaign cash to lawmakers supportive of pro-PLA policies in order to circumvent the free market and regain lost market share.
In the 112th Congress, Rep. Bartlett was critical of anti-competitive and costly government-mandated PLAs and took the following steps to protect free enterprise:
- Introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310) that prohibits federal agencies from mandating anti-competitive and costly PLAs and using PLA preferences on federal construction contracts authorized by the NDAA. It passed, by a bipartisan vote of 211 to 209, May 17 of this year. Learn more here
- Cosponsored legislation called the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (H.R. 735) prohibiting PLA schemes on federal and federally assisted construction projects.
- Voted in support of provisions that will restore fair and open competition in federal contracting by prohibiting government-mandated PLAs. (Roll Call No.’s 302, 267, 413, 396, and 26).
Unfortunately, as the Baltimore Sun points out, Rep. Bartlett has a tough new district and needs help:
Following the 2010 Census, Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Democratic legislature gerrymandered the district in the hopes of restoring the state’s House delegation from a 6-2 to a 7-1 Democratic advantage. (Democrat Frank Kratovil held the Eastern Shore-based 1st District for one term, momentarily giving the Democrats seven seats, but he then lost it in 2010 to Republican Andy Harris.) The resulting gerrymander created a new 6th District, based in Western Maryland, that now includes huge chunks of Democrat-leaning Montgomery County. The intent was to unseat GOP incumbent Bartlett.
Congressman Bartlett should be commended for his vigilance against crony contracting and ongoing efforts to expose waste and protect taxpayers in Maryland and across the country.
Update: The Baltimore Sun reported 10/29/12 polling indicates the MD-6 race is a dead heat.
Update: Rep. John Delaney (D) soundly defeated Rep. Bartlett by 20 points (58.8 to 37.9).