H.R. 1209 would prohibit federal agencies working on construction projects from either requiring or prohibiting the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) except in specific circumstances. On February 4, 2022, Executive Order 14063 required all federal agencies to use PLAs on construction projects of $35 million or more. A PLA is a collective bargaining agreement that applies to a specific project and is effective for the duration of that project. Under those agreements, which typically include provisions regarding wages and fringe benefits and procedures for resolving labor disputes, workers generally agree not to strike, and contractors agree not to lock out workers. H.R. 1209 would allow contractors and unions working on construction projects that involve the expenditure of federal funds to voluntarily negotiate and execute a PLA.
Because of the size of construction projects involved, any significant change to the process could have a significant effect on their costs. CBO does not have enough information from federal sources or union and nonunion contractors to determine whether the use of PLAs under current law results in any significant costs or savings to the federal government. Moreover, because CBO expects that implementing H.R. 1209 would not significantly change the contracting process or the use of PLAs, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would not have a significant effect on the federal budget.