Two House Subpanels Consider Impact of Blacklisting Executive Order on Competition for Federal Contracts

October 02, 2015

This week, two House Small Business Subcommittees heard testimony on President Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (a.k.a. "Blacklisting") Executive Order, noting an Associated Builders and Contractors poll indicating that 57 percent of its members say that they will no longer participate in government contracts if the Executive Order is implemented.  Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hanna (R-NY) observed that the government has lost over 100,000 small contractors since 2013, even as the Administration continues to place more burdens on government contractors.  "We should be working to expand the universe of contractors, not shrink it," he said.  Subcommittee Chairman Cresent Hardy (R-NV) said, "In my opinion this Executive Order is just another example of the executive overreach that has become the hallmark of the Obama Administration, and it could have a devastating effect on small businesses and government contractors."  Angela Styles of Crowell & Moring testified that "if the EO is aimed at only a small number of bad actors, then surely there is a more efficient way to accomplish this goal than imposing requirements that will lead to procurement delays, the blacklisting of ethical companies, and reduced competition in the federal marketplace."  HR Policy Association filed comments on the Blacklisting Order on August 26.