Johnson to Senate Colleagues: Roll Back the Blacklisting Rule

WASHINGTON Thursday on the Senate floor, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) encouraged his colleagues to repeal the blacklisting rule. Johnson introduced the Senate version of the resolution, which can be found here.

Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, was addressing a 2014 executive order by then-President Obama that added a new layer of bureaucracy onto a federal procurement system already plagued by delays and inefficiencies. The “blacklisting” rule requires employers bidding on federal contracts to disclose violations and alleged violations of 14 different federal labor laws and similar state labor laws. Employers would also be required to determine a subcontractor’s or supplier’s compliance with complex labor laws.

Excerpts of Sen. Johnson’s remarks are below, and video of his remarks can be found here.

“Because of the substance of this rule, it has become known as the black listing rule. Had it been up to me, I would have called it the blackmailing rule.”

“This rule also has are the very real potential of subjecting perfectly innocent contractors to blackmail and extortion tactics during union contract negotiations.”

“As if the blackmail potential of the rule isn’t enough, the Obama administration admitted that the final rule would cost at least $398 million to comply with every single year.”

“The rule imposes costly reporting requirements on small businesses that many simply cannot bear and it also reduces the availability and increases the price of much-needed supplies and services, including to our military.”

“Those costs are realized in reduced opportunities, higher prices to consumers and stagnated wages and benefits for hard-working Americans. Economic growth is the primary component of a solution for many of our country’s problems. Yet Washington continues to stifle growth by adding layer upon layer of regulation. The blacklisting rule is just one harmful example.”

“Through the use of the Congressional Review Act, we have the opportunity to reduce that regulatory burden and repair a small portion of the damage done by President Obama’s regulatory overreach. Mr. President, we owe it to the American people and American businesses to start providing them with regulatory relief.”