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House Members Join Together in Bipartisan Call With Business Organizations for Equal Government Contract Competition for Private Sector Businesses, Job Growth

Washington, D.C., February 16, 2012 | Lauren Phillips ((202) 225-4401)
Today, U.S. Reps. Bill Huizenga, MI-02 and Carolyn Maloney, NY-14, joined with manufacturing and service companies to call for passage of legislation that will once again allow local job creators in these industries to compete on equal footing for contracts with the federal government.


“This bill requires the government agencies to at least open these contracts to the private sector as well for bidding, or requires them to shop around for the best value for the taxpayers’ dollar. The bill preserves market access for these products or services to the hard-working men and women of our districts. This is simply one more easy, common sense way to preserve jobs and help restore economic security for America,” Huizenga said.

“Private-sector businesses can’t compete with FPI workers who are often paid below minimum wage. This bill will level the playing field and increase the amount of private sector contracts issued by the federal government--- which will help create jobs,” Maloney said.

Industries across America are affected, including clothing, textiles, office furniture, custom engraving, heavy equipment remanufacturing, as well as call centers and help desk support.

Currently co-sponsored by 12 bipartisan members of the U.S. House and supported by 10 business organizations, this legislation, H.R. 3634, gives the taxpayer the greatest value for their hard-earned money by forcing federal agencies to bid for fair and reasonable prices and for products that best suit their needs. UNICOR, or Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI), is a government-owned corporation that employs prisoners under the Federal Bureau of Prisons to manufacture products and provide services in 89 factories in most states that are then sold to federal agencies. Those agencies are sometimes required to buy FPI products or services without being allowed to shop around for the greatest value. This legislation ensures that private companies have competitive access to those contracts as well.


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Also speaking today were:

·         Dick McDonald, MAPPS President, and Director of Geospatial Services for T3 Global Strategies, Inc., a small business from Pennsylvania

·         John Palatiello, BCFC President, MAPPS Executive Director, COFPAES Administrator, and President, John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc., a small business from Virginia

·         Alan Bubes, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Linens of the Week, located in Washington, D.C.

·         JD Long, Program Manager, Military Division of Propper International.

Also supporting this bill but unable to attend the press conference:

“We should be looking to make government more efficient and cost-effective, and this bill does that. I support this legislation because it will save taxpayer dollars and open up the contracting process to competition,” said Jim Sensenbrenner, WI-05, a lead cosponsor of this bill.

“For almost three decades, I have been standing up for North Carolina furniture and textile businesses that want to do business with the federal government, but have been thwarted by unfair competition against their federal counterparts.  All we are seeking is equal footing and equal chances to bid on federal contracts,” said Rep. Howard Coble, NC-06, who cosponsors this bill.





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