RE: Oppose H.R. 1552, "Fair and Open Contracting Act"

March 27, 2017

The Honorable Ron DeSantis
U.S. House of Representatives
1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Oppose H.R. 1552, “Fair and Open Contracting Act”

Dear Representative DeSantis:

On behalf of the Construction Employers of America (CEA), our seven employer associations, and our more than 1.4 million employees, we urge you to oppose H.R. 1552, the “Fair and Open Contracting Act”, sponsored by Congressman Dennis Ross (FL-15). CEA and our 15,000 affiliated employers have long recognized the benefits of project labor agreements (PLAs); PLAs have proven a cost-effective tool for federal agencies to use to ensure high quality construction projects are completed on time and on budget.

Project labor agreements can be an effective mechanism to ensure that the federal government selects contractors that can meet all of the terms of an agreement before a major construction project begins. PLAs minimize the risk of labor disputes and promote timely completion of projects that meet budgets, reducing overall costs and minimizing risks to taxpayers. In short, PLAs are good for business, good for the government, and good for taxpayers.

Congressman Ross’s legislation would impose a “one size fits all” approach on federal contracts even when PLAs would enforce cost controls and ensure timely completion of federal projects. CEA supports PLAs as an option when their use is in the economic interest of the project owner and the taxpayer.

We strongly urge you to oppose this ill-advised legislation. CEA’s seven employer associations include FCA International, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance, and The Association of Union Constructors. Should you have any questions, you may contact me at or via telephone at 202-637-6820.


Jack Jacobson