Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rescinding of Davis-Bacon Act Rescinded

Having trouble following that? I don't blame you. I told you what the Davis-Bacon Act was back here: Oh, For Crying Out Loud. Essentially, this law requires that federal contractors pay workers the prevailing wage for public construction projects. President Bush thought it made sense, post-Hurricane Katrina, to rescind that law. People had lost their homes and their employment and pretty much everything else, too. So, naturally he didn't think that starting over was going to require more than minimum wage employment. (Maybe I should have stopped that sentence after "he didn't think.")

Today, however, the White House issued a press statement indicating that the law would be re-instated on November 8, 60 days after it was rescinded. The White House spokesperson suggested that the suspension was always intended to be temporary. Could be, but in the original announcement it was described as "open-ended" and a letter to the Labor Department last week said it could last as long as a year. So, it surely seems that the definition of "temporary" changed rather abruptly.

Everyone and his brother is accepting the credit for causing this reversal in the President's position. I don't care who gets credit; I'm just glad it's changed. I bet, though, that the meeting today with pro-labor Republicans has the White House the most scared. The announcement came shortly after that meeting. Still more evidence, as though we needed any, that even the President's base is turning away from him.

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