February 15, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Two members of President Donald Trump’s “beachhead team” at the Department of Labor have long histories of opposing prevailing-wage laws.
Geoffrey Burr, who is rumored to be in line to be chief of staff for Andrew Puzder if the fast-food executive is confirmed as Secretary of Labor, spent seven years as chief lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, an industry trade group that has vociferously opposed prevailing wage. Records obtained by ProPublica show that in 2015, Burr and the group lobbied the House to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, the federal prevailing-wage law, and for an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds “to implement, administer, or enforce” it. They also lobbied the Department of Labor to modify the surveys it uses to set local prevailing-wage standards, which opponents allege are too high because the surveys are skewed in favor of union labor. Another transition-team member, Nathan Mehrens, in 2013 denounced House Republicans who voted against repealing Davis-Bacon as traitors, writing that prevailing wages “unnecessarily cost billions of additional tax dollars every year.” Read more