Hooray For George
October 26, 2005 - 4:22pm ET
Popular This Week
Also Worth Reading
In the debate over rebuilding the Gulf, liberal groups and Democrats united to fight Bush's outrageous decision to suspend prevailing wage laws . The Campaign for America's Future, along with many other groups, rallied their members to contact Congress. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., pressed the issue in the House, persuading 37 Republicans to join the cause. Now they can savor a well-deserved victory. Miller's office released this statement:
<!--StartFragment --> "President Bush finally realized that his Gulf Coast wage cut was a bad idea that hurt the workers and their families affected by Katrina," said Miller. "But let me be clear - the President is backing down today only because he had no other choice.
"The President's wage cut was just another example of his incompetence as a leader in a time of crisis and of his constant need reward the private agenda's of his special special-interest friends rather than attend to the needs of all the people affected by this storm."
The President's wage cut was facing a congressional showdown as early as next week because of a Joint Resolution Miller recently introduced that would have forced the House to vote by early November on whether or not to allow the wage cut to stand. Miller said that Democratic action - coupled with pressure from some members of the President's own party - left the President no option but to reverse his own mistake.
Jonathan Tasinii's blog looks at the machinations behind Bush’s decision:
This is great news—the White House has caved in to the pressure to rescind the suspension of the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws for the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina.
Here's what I hear from my Capitol Hill sources: the president, who suspended the Davis Bacon provisions that guarantee people working on federal contracts are paid the prevailing wage, was concerned that he not be seen as caving in to Democrats. The Dems were lead by Rep. George Miller, who used a little-known parliamentary motion to force a vote on the suspension.
Under pressure, Bush agreed to rescind the suspension by December 8th. But at least one Republican said that he would vote for the Miller resolution if the suspension was not lifted earlier. And no question that the fact that the Building Trades put pressure on Congressional Republicans (37 signed the letter to Bush supporting the reinstatement of Davis Bacon) helped. In any case, Bush caved. The suspension will be lifted on November 8th.
Wimpy Democrats, are you paying attention? A hooray for Miller who showed that if you have some spine and stand up for workers, you can win—okay, so it's not always easy, but Miller at least gets major hugs and congrats for putting his butt on the line. And kudos to the AFL-CIO which generated 350,000 emails out on this battle.
Keep reading here.
Help us spread the word about these important stories...
Email to a friend
Views expressed on this page are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Campaign for America's Future or Institute for America's Future