Discretionary Spending

Multiple Budget Functions

Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act

CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.

Billions of dollars 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2015-2019 2015-2024
Change in Spending                        
  Spending authority 0 -1.5 -1.5 -1.5 -1.6 -1.6 -1.6 -1.7 -1.7 -1.7 -6.1 -14.5
  Budget authority 0 -0.7 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8 -0.9 -3.0 -7.1
  Outlays 0 -0.4 -0.9 -1.2 -1.4 -1.5 -1.5 -1.6 -1.6 -1.6 -3.9 -11.7

Note: This option would take effect in October 2015. Estimates are relative to CBO’s August 2014 baseline projections. Spending authority includes budget authority as well as obligation limitations (such as for certain transportation programs). The option would also result in reductions in mandatory spending of less than $50 million per year (not shown in the table).

The Davis-Bacon Act requires that workers on all federally funded or federally assisted construction projects whose contracts total more than $2,000 be paid no less than “prevailing wages” in the area in which the project is located. This option would repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, which would lower the federal government’s costs for construction; the option would make corresponding reductions in appropriations and in limits on the government’s authority to enter into obligations for certain transportation programs.