CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 6371, the Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act, under suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on September 11, 2012, by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
H.R. 6371 would move responsibility for wage claims adjustments for federal contractor employees from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to the Department of Labor (DOL) by amending the Davis-Bacon Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA). Under the bill, the DOL would carry out the responsibility of processing claims for unpaid wages filed by workers for government contractors and paying those claims with funds withheld from contractors.
The Davis-Bacon Act requires federal contractor employees be paid at least the locally “prevailing wage” on all government projects. CWHSSA also requires federal contractor employees be paid one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in the work week. Current law requires GAO to process claims and withhold payment from contractors in order to provide payment to workers under the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act and the CWHSSA. The transfer of this authority to DOL was requested by GAO.
The Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act will transfer this payment authority to DOL, the agency tasked with primary enforcement of these laws. According to the bill’s sponsor, this legislation will ensure fewer redundancies and greater efficiency in the federal government’s handling of these claims.
The Congressional Budget Office stated enactment of the bill will not affect direct spending or revenues.