On behalf of the AFL-CIO, please find below our vote recommendations for amendments to H.R. 8294, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Rural Development, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Act, 2023.
Good Amendments (En Bloc #4: Division A #25 and Division F #20): These amendments would prohibit the use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce the Davis-Bacon Act on federally funded construction projects. The Davis-Bacon Act mandates payment of local prevailing wages on projects funded by the federal government and prevents competition for federal construction contracts from artificially depressing local labor standards. Davis-Bacon requirements ensure that contractors compete on a basis of who can best train, best equip and best manage a construction crew, rather than on the basis of who can assemble the cheapest, most exploitable workforce.
Grothman Amendment (En Bloc #5: Division E #49): This amendment reduces the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities (National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)) total from $414,000,000 to $299,697,000. Many union creative professionals earn their living working on NEA and NEH-supported productions, programs, and performances in nearly every state. This amendment will result in a loss of jobs and career opportunities at a time when the creative sector is just beginning to rebound from the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roy Amendment (En Bloc #5: Division D #126): This amendment would eliminate funding for the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA). The FLRA is necessary to facilitate the administration of federal labor-management relations, and it protects the rights of federal workers to form and join unions, resolve disputes, and bargain collectively with federal agencies.
Kahele, Ferguson, Bergman, Davis, Rodney Amendment (En Bloc #2: Division A #59): This amendment would prevent foreign airlines that avoid collective bargaining rights, safety regulations, and high-road employment standards from operating in the United States. Labor has long supported applying public interest scrutiny to foreign air carrier permits and the protection of labor standards in the aviation industry.
McGovern Amendments (En Bloc #8: Division F #183 and #184): This bipartisan amendment eliminates FY 2023 funding for the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission plan to close or downsize about one third of existing VA medical centers around the country, harming the care of millions of veterans. Amendment #184 redirects AIR Commission funding to programs to reduce veteran homelessness.
Thank you for considering the views of the American labor movement as you work your way through this important bill.
Director, Government Affairs