Bush Reverses Low Wage Decision
With the Valerie Plame case dominating the news, many important stories are falling through the cracks:
The Bush administration will reinstate rules requiring that companies awarded federal contracts for Hurricane Katrina pay prevailing wages, usually an amount close to the pay scales in local union contracts.
The White House promised to restore the 74-year-old Davis-Bacon prevailing wage protection on Nov. 8, following a meeting between chief of staff Andrew Card and a caucus of pro-labor Republicans.
Democrats and the moderate Republican group both claimed their pressure caused President Bush to reconsider his open-ended suspension of Davis-Bacon starting Sept. 8 in hurricane-affected areas.
The Republican group originally sent a letter to the White House in September arguing that suspension of the wage law only leads to shoddy workmanship, reduces federal oversight and allows workers outside the region to undercut the local market.
Bush's plan to remove fair wage rules for Katrina workers failed to get much attention when he made the decision last month. This is the kind of issue that could give people a reason to vote.