The FBN:am program on Fox Business interviewed TheTruthAboutPLAs.com contributor Ben Brubeck for construction industry insights in reaction to President Trump’s Jan. 30, 2018, State of the Union Address, which addressed the Trump administration’s forthcoming $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.
The interview finished with a discussion about the need to rescind President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to require government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale federal infrastructure contracts and allows recipients of federal money to mandate PLAs.
In addition, Fortune published a piece by The Heritage Foundation’s Michael Sargent which also called for repeal of President Obama’s pro-PLA regulations (Commentary: The Only Way Trump Can Improve U.S. Infrastructure, 1/31/18):
Off the bat, the administration should target regulations that needlessly drive up the cost of federally funded projects. These include the Davis-Bacon Act and project labor agreements, which significantly increase labor costs. Protectionist laws that further increase costs and limit competition, such as Buy America and the Jones Act, should likewise be rolled back. Eradicating these impediments could save more than $100 billion, which could be reinvested in nationally significant projects.
ICYMI, here are the SOTU’s key passages related to the construction industry, which Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reacted to today in this release:
…As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?
I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.
Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.
Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.
Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.
Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.
We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.
We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.
As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.
As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.