Yesterday, more than a month after we first reported that the White House is considering implementing the High Road contracting policy, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board weighed in on the subject:
For decades, the government’s main goal has been to find the best services provider at the best prices. Last we checked, procurement agencies weren’t supposed to be agents of social engineering.
This fantastic push smells of desperation. Unions have been frustrated over a health-care bill targeting their gold-plated insurance plans and the abandonment of the “public option.” Mr. Obama also lacks the votes on Capitol Hill to pass their top priority, a “card check” bill to end the secret ballot in union elections.
This new procurement gambit is equally dangerous. Using federal contract authority to drive up private wages and indirectly impose onerous labor standards is far from what voters thought they were getting from this Presidency.
This is just the latest indication that the battle over High Road is getting ready to hit the main stage. Organized labor is fed up with seeing its agenda blocked by Congress and is pressuring the White House to introduce the policy over vocal objections from the business and contracting communities.
That unveiling could take place as early as this month, but regardless of when it happens be prepared for High Road become the labor issue of the moment. Unlike card check this is something the Administration may actually be able to enact despite Congressional opposition.