U.S. Rep James Comer (R-Ky.) this week introduced H.R. 1209, titled the Fair and Open Competition Act (FOCA), which is designed to prevent large construction contracts from requiring organized labor or Project Labor Agreements (PLA) in federal procurement.

In February 2022, President Biden signed an executive order that requires PLAs on federal construction projects of $35 million or more. The act, co-written by Comer and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), would remove that requirement for all federal or federally assisted taxpayer-funded construction contracts.

A PLA sets jobsite conditions that allow for labor unions to establish bargaining rights to determine wage rates and benefits for all project employees. The terms apply to all contractors and subcontractors. Agreements typically include provisions to avoid any strikes, lockouts or other work stoppages.

Twenty-four states also have enacted state-level laws prohibiting government-mandated PLAs for state, state-assisted, and local construction events.

NPCA joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 20 other construction and business associations in support of this bill.