Davis-Bacon Will Be a 2006 Issue

Nathan Newman at TPMCafe writes that the President's suspension of the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage regulations, beyond being illegal, will also likely throw a monkey wrench into the reelection plans for supposedly pro-labor Republicans. In order to legally suspend Davis-Bacon, Bush was obligated to declare a national emergency. He did not. And according to the National Emergencies Act (NEA), declaring a national emergency would require a full House and Senate vote after six months to determine "whether that emergency shall be terminated."

...in six months, a bunch of Republicans in swing districts who claim to be pro-labor may have to vote on whether to continue the suspension of Davis-Bacon.

If they vote with Delay, this could be the vote to knock a number out of them out of office.  And if they vote with labor, it would be a massive national defeat for Bush and Delay.

The GOP has been able to control the agenda and prohibit most votes that might embarrass those "pro-labor" Republicans (or give them a chance to rebel).  But the NEA may require a mandatory vote.

Avoiding this possibility may be why Bush didn't want to formally invoke the NEA.

Legally, Bush will still probably get away with suspending Davis-Bacon without having formally declared a national emergency according to NEA guidelines. The White House proclamation suspending the wage regulations read that the "conditions caused by Hurricane Katrina constitute a 'national emergency' within the meaning of section 3147 of title 40, United States Code." However, if that winds up being the case, that part of the proclamation will likely be recognized as as a formal national emergency declaration, requiring the vote in six months to terminate or continue. Either way, Republicans will be held to account on scrapping fair wage laws in the Gulf Coast reconstruction.

So who are these pro-labor Republicans? In 2003, a column from E.J. Dionne mentioned "a group of 28 House Republicans who think that the administration should pull away from its assault on the American labor movement." Two of those Republicans have since retired, Jack Quinn and Amo Houghton of New York. And one, Mark Green of Wisconsin's eighth district, is running for the GOP nomination for governor, so he may or may not be a factor (though his vote will certainly come up in whichever race he winds up running). Here's the list, organized by state and district. You'll notice some very familiar names that have already been targeted by Democrats for 2006.

Don Young, AK - at large
Spencer Bachus, AL-06
Jerry Lewis, CA-41
Rob Simmons, CT-02
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, FL-18
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, FL-21
Timothy Johnson, IL-15
Ray LaHood, IL-18
John Shimkus, IL-19
Jo Ann Emerson, MO-08
Dennis Rehberg, MT - at large
Frank LoBiondo, NJ-02
James Saxton, NJ-03
Chris Smith, NJ-04
Mike Ferguson, NJ-07
Peter King, NY-03
Sue Kelly, NY-19
John E. Sweeney, NY-20
John McHugh, NY-23
Sherwood Boehlert, NY-24
James Walsh, NY-25
Steven LaTourette, OH-14
Phil English, PA-03
Curt Weldon, PA-07
Tim Murphy, PA-18
Mark Green, WI-08

So it's up to these Republicans. And I'm sure there are actually more. As the old song asks, which side are you on?

Tags: House 2006 (all tags)



State Attorneys General?
Would this be who would need to sue for relief on this issue?  Or would it be the individuals?  If it's the states then they could sue immediately.  If not then the workers are screwed for a year or so.
by Demo Dan in Dayton 2005-09-17 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: State Attorneys General?
Or maybe the courts declare the executive order illegal, and Bush then forgets about repairing the city...
by blues 2005-09-17 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: State Attorneys General?
Has anyone noted a pattern: Bush is a compulsive law breaker. He cannot get through a day without breaking some obvious law. This lawlessness seems to indicate that he is like a child playing with an expendable toy. We need more frequent elections. We need to eliminate computer voting. We need to make it illegal for judges to make obviously faulty decisions, or to neglect to correct gross injustice.

The people themselves must take over. This "republic" idea is an obvious formula for disaster.

by blues 2005-09-17 09:13AM | 0 recs
Repeal of Davis-Bacon will hurt the economies. . .
Of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.  As its basic supply and demand there will be a greater supply of workers than demand for workers which will push wages far below the prevailing wage of $9.00 an hour.  This will cause local businesses of the region to pay the current market rate which will in turn hurt consumer buying power thus hurting said business in the end.
by Painter2004 2005-09-17 09:07AM | 0 recs
The Better
be an election year issue.  It is one of the most crass giving the store away to political cronies move I have ever seen.

Thankfully, it is getting press.  Lou Dobbs is all over it.

by Bonddad 2005-09-17 09:11AM | 0 recs
How you make it an election-year issue...
...is to start hollering about it NOW.

Every Dem, every day, ought to be reminding his listeners in every speech and press appearance that Bush has suspended Davis-Bacon, what that means, and that that's freakin' outrageous.

by RT 2005-09-18 02:42AM | 0 recs
complaining about Republicans getting you nowhere?
If you have come to the point where complaining about the Republican party does not do much for you then browse this web page and take action. If you don't like the content of a television program, you call their sponsors and demand a change or you will boycott the sponsor. If you don't like the content of the Republican Party program, you call their contributors and demand the CEO call the Republican Party and get the  Republican Party to accede to your progressive agenda demands or you will boycott the contributor.


by maximus7 2005-09-17 10:05AM | 0 recs
How frickin; hard is it?????

This is what galls me-- seeing that list-- how hard is it to run a candidate EVERYWHERE.

Party can pay - what- the $1000 or so needed to file papers, help out with campaign management (are you telling me they can't manage campaigns for small-time folks at the DNC offices???) -- find siomeone- the dog catcher, whoever-

Hell- if you paid all my filing fees and guaranteed I'd have no personal debt I'd run.  So how fucking hard is it??? Dems can say WE CHALLENGED EVERY SEAT.

When Rep. Joe Schmo is found beating his wife on Oct. 22nd, Bob Dogcatcher-D needs to be there to take the votes.

by jgkojak 2005-09-17 01:17PM | 0 recs
Who Holds Them Accountable?
But really...which labor union can make any of these "pro-labor" Republican walk the plank?

The fleas are too dependent on the old dog to try and find a new host. They are going to down together, whether or not they realize it. Bush can get away with any contortion he wants of the Congress because DeLay will stop at nothing to trigger the Second Coming. (Said facetiously only in part.)

This is the story we've seend hammered at us for years on end. The unions are not strong enough to have an effect on the national landscape. Perhaps the SEIU can use this to its advantage and find a renaissance. Otherwise, I don't see how this is any different than CAFTA.

by risenmessiah 2005-09-17 01:31PM | 0 recs
who signed
Does anyone have a list of all the republicans who actually signed this letter?
by IrnBru001 2005-10-03 10:36AM | 0 recs


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