Harris will announce a new rule that raises worker pay on federal construction projects

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday will announce changes to labor rules that could give higher wages to construction workers on federal projects, senior Biden administration officials said.

Harris is going to Philadelphia, where she’ll say in a speech that the Labor Department has provided the first update in 40 years to the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. That law requires the payment of prevailing local wages on public works.

The new rule is something of a return to the past in that it will use the definition of prevailing wage that the Labor Department previously used from 1935 to 1983, likely raising the hourly earnings of contractors and subcontractors.

More than 1 million construction workers with jobs on roughly $200 billion worth of federally supported projects will be impacted, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the updated rule ahead of the Democratic vice president’s announcement.

While workers would earn more money, critics such as the Associated Builders and Contractors say the new rule will make construction projects more expensive for taxpayers.

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