"The Davis-Bacon Act is one of several statutes that deals with federal government procurement. (See also the Walsh-Healey Act of 1936 and the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act of 1965.) Enacted in 1931, Davis-Bacon requires, inter alia, that not less than the locally prevailing wage be paid to workers engaged in federal contract construction. The act does not deal directly with non-federal construction. In addition to the act, per se, the prevailing wage principle has been incorporated within a series of federal program statutes through the years. And, many states have enacted little Davis-Bacon acts of their own [...] In the suspensions of 1934 and 1971, the suspension applied to the entire country--possibly with the understanding that it would be restored once the immediate emergency was over. In 1992 and in 2005, only portions of the country were involved. In 1992, it remains unclear how long the suspension might have lasted--if George H. W. Bush had been re-elected. Similarly, the suspension under George W. Bush is, in the short-term, open-ended--i.e., 'until otherwise provided.' The suspensions are also separated by the definition of 'national emergency' used to invoke them: administrative convenience in 1934, inflationary pressures in the construction industry in 1971, and issues associated with hurricane damages in 1992 and in 2005."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33100
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