Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s Opposition to Labor Department Regulation: A Closer Look

November 27, 2023
4 min read

In the realm of politics and policy, few issues are as contentious as those that bridge the gap between labor rights and economic policy. A recent development involving U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) brings this tension into sharp focus. Smucker has recently spearheaded a resolution, House Joint Resolution 103, to oppose a significant labor regulation from the Biden administration. This move has sparked both support and criticism, reflecting the complex interplay of labor rights, economic policy, and political allegiances.

The Contested Regulation

At the heart of this dispute is a regulation related to the Davis-Bacon Act. This act deals with prevailing wages for federal or federally funded construction projects. The Biden administration’s update to this act, which Rep. Smucker opposes, is aimed at better reflecting the needs of construction workers on such projects. Proponents view it as a necessary update to protect workers’ wages, while critics, like Smucker, argue that it will lead to increased taxes and artificially inflated construction costs.

Smucker’s Perspective and Actions

Smucker’s stance is clear: he believes the free market should determine wages, not regulations based on a nearly century-old formula. He argues that the new regulation will be detrimental to American taxpayers, driving up costs in a time of economic uncertainty. His resolution, if passed, would nullify the regulation, reflecting a broader Republican critique of the Biden administration’s economic policies.

The Backdrop of Past Controversies

Smucker’s position on this issue is not isolated from his previous legislative activities. A 2018 article from The Intercept sheds light on his opposition to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following violations by his family’s drywall business. This opposition, coupled with his support for legislation that allows companies to pay lower wages and weakens labor unions, paints a picture of a congressman whose policies consistently favor business owners over worker rights and safety.

The Broader Implications

This situation raises several questions about the balance between protecting workers’ rights and fostering a free-market economy. How should wages be determined in federally funded projects? What is the role of government in regulating labor in the private sector? These are questions that go beyond the specifics of the Davis-Bacon Act and touch on the fundamental principles of economic governance in the United States.


As the debate over H.J.Res. 103 continues, it’s important to consider the broader context of these policies. Congressman Smucker’s actions highlight the ongoing struggle between different visions of economic and labor policy. While some argue for the need to protect workers in an increasingly complex and challenging economic environment, others advocate for minimal government intervention in the market. This ongoing debate is a crucial part of the democratic process, reflecting the diverse perspectives and interests that shape American policy and governance.

As we follow the developments of this resolution and its implications, it’s vital to stay informed and engaged, recognizing the multifaceted nature of such policy debates and their far-reaching impacts on both the economy and the lives of workers across the nation.

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