Ben Brubeck's Articles

State-Level GOP Dominance Yields Advancements in Pro-Merit Shop Policies

Throughout the remarkable 2016 election cycle, the political media generated impressive ratings by bombarding voters with sensational and hyper-focused coverage of the contentious and divisive race for the White House and a handful of competitive U.S. Senate races. After the dust settled and voters elected a GOP-controlled Congress and White House, it became clear the media failed to give enough attention to one of the most important storylines in American politics: the GOP’s domination of Democrats in state government. 

State government policy is likely to impact America’s voters, businesses and the economy as much—or more than—anything coming out of Washington in 2017.  

The GOP now controls the most legislative seats since the founding of the party—helping to advance free enterprise-focused policies supported by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the merit shop contracting community. 

Preliminary Injunction Granted Against ‘Blacklisting’ Final Rule

On Oct. 24, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council from implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule, commonly referred to as the blacklisting rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 25.

Pro-Merit Shop Policies Advance in the States

In December 2015, ABC launched “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard,” which reviews and grades state-specific information significant to the success of the commercial and industrial merit shop construction industry. 

Executive Actions Target Federal Contractors

Recently enacted directives impacting federal contractors in the construction industry include an expansion of equal employment protections, increased pay transparency requirements and a higher minimum wage for employees of contracting firms employed on federal contracts. 

‘Blacklisting’ Executive Order Continues Regulatory Assault on Federal Contractors

Federal contractors, their workforces and taxpayers should be worried about President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673. It will discourage small businesses from pursuing federal contracts, threaten the livelihood of millions of Americans and increase costs to taxpayers; plus, it could prevent some federal contractors from winning future federal contracts.

Executive Actions Signal Changes in Federal Contracting

Stymied by a gridlocked and bitterly divided Congress, President Barack Obama’s use of executive authority to promote his party’s political agenda in advance of the mid-term congressional elections has many stakeholders worried about a flow of heavy-handed regulations streaming out of federal agencies that could reshape the federal contracting landscape.

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