Political Correction

Rep. Steve King: Because Rep. Frank Is Gay, He Should Oppose Federal Wage Requirements

March 03, 2010 12:38 pm ET - by Chris Harris

In late February, the Associated Press reported that the Obama administration is considering implementing what is known as "high road" contracting for companies seeking to do business with the federal government.  The policy would ensure that companies receiving federal contracts provide their employees with a "living wage."

The AP writes that the proposal, like many labor-supported policies, is meant to "strengthen the middle class and promote higher labor standards.

The policy could accurately be described as a 21st century version of the Davis-Bacon Act, which in 1931 required federal contractors to pay workers the local prevailing wage.

While Davis-Bacon is still widely supported in Congress, it does have its opponents.  Last night on the House floor, Rep. Steve King, the bombastic Congressman from Iowa, embarked on a rant against providing prevailing wages for federal contractors.

After absurdly claiming Davis-Bacon was the last remaining Jim Crow law, King set his sights on what he views as an intellectual inconsistency among progressives.

In the process, however, King singled out a gay member of Congress for opposing the government "injecting" itself into personal relationships while supporting regulation of federal contractors.



REP. STEVE KING:  And I'm confronted with Chairman of the Financial Services Committee who has consistently made the argument with many of his colleagues over on this side of the aisle that the federal government has no business injecting themselves in between two consenting adults. That two consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want to do if it doesn't hurt anybody else, that's their argument. What business is it of ours, in this Congress, if two consenting adults want to carry on in any fashion whatsoever? Whether we can discuss it here into the record, or whether we can't, Mr. Speaker.

Well the same individuals that make that argument seem to think that the federal government should inject themselves into every transaction between two consenting adults provided there's some 2,000 or more federal dollars involved.  And so now, we have Uncle Sam telling David King what he has to pay his employees on a construction project in Iowa.

The "Chairman of the Financial Services Committee" King referenced is, of course, Rep. Barney Frank, one of the few openly gay members of Congress. 

As usual, Rep. King's argument itself is worthy of mockery.  The exact opposite argument could be made against conservatives.  They support federal meddling in personal relationships while decrying efforts to regulate or tax the private sector. 

But King's insistence on singling out Rep. Frank for his sexual orientation in order to attack Democrats for supporting higher labor standards is beyond the pale.  The House Chamber is, and should be, a place for serious debate over differing governing philosophies, not personal, gay-baiting attacks on fellow Congressmen.

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