FORT MITCHELL, Ky. – Sen. Mitch McConnell met with local leaders and the Northern Kentucky Chamber Friday announcing his new proposal for funding the Brent Spence Bridge reconstruction.
The bridge is “outdated and inadequate, functionally obsolete… and is congested and potentially dangerous,” McConnell said of the bridge, calling it a vital hub of the country.
His proposal, The Emergency Interstate Bridge Safety Act, would authorize funding for interstate bridge projects such as the Brent Spence Bridge through spending offsets provided by the repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act — which artificially inflates labor costs on federal government-contracted public works projects.
It costs the government extra money by requiring government contractors to pay beyond what are considered competitive wages in the free market for government work. As a result, it makes federal government-contracted projects more expensive than private-sector projects in the same market, he said.
While McConnell has previously stated that the federal government would not pay the entire $2.6 billion price tag of a new bridge, his idea would lend a chunk of that amount, if passed.
“The Davis-Bacon Act is legislation from the Great Depression era that is even older and more obsolete than the Brent Spence Bridge itself, it needs to be repealed,” McConnell said.
It’s what he called a “common sense proposal” and implored state and local leaders to jump on his bandwagon, supporting him and his strategy, by re-electing him in November.
“I will make it a top priority if I’m majority leader next year,” he said.