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    This page contains bills sponsored by presidential contenders. Bill sponsorships indicate the topics that legislators are most interested in, and spend the most time on.

06-SP3971 on May 15, 2006

Legislation by 2008 Presidential Candidates: paying fair prevailing wage to guest workers
Source: S.AMDT.3971 to S.2611
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: We have to ensure that communities where American unemployment rates are high will not experience unnecessary competition from guest workers. So to that end, this amendment strengthens the prevailing wage & freezes the guest worker program in communities with unemployment rates for low-skilled workers of 9% or greater.

This amendment would establish a true prevailing wage for all occupations to ensure that guest workers are paid a wage that does not lower American wages. The [underlying bill S.2611] requires that employers advertise jobs to American workers at a prevailing wage before offering that job to a guest worker. And it requires that employers pay guest workers a prevailing wage. But the bill, currently, without the amendment, does not clarify how to calculate the prevailing wage for workers not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. That leaves most jobs and most workers unprotected.

My amendment fixes that. It directs the employer to use Department of Labor data to calculate a prevailing wage in those cases in which a collective bargaining agreement does not apply. That would mean an employer would have to make an offer at an average wage across comparable employers instead of just an average wage that she or he is willing to pay.

The amendment also would establish stronger prohibitions on the guest worker program in high unemployment areas. The bill currently bars use of the program if the unemployment rate for low-skilled workers in a metropolitan area averages more than 11%. Our amendment would lower that unemployment rate to 9% of workers unemployed with a high school diploma or less. There is no reason any community with large pockets of unemployed Americans needs guest workers.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment agreed to in Senate by Voice Vote.


  • Topic: Immigration
  • Headline: Pay fair prevailing wage to guest workers
  • Headline 2: Sponsored bill paying fair prevailing wage to guest workers

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 06-SP3971

Jeff Bingaman s1oNM Democratic Sr Senator (Retiring) 
Dianne Feinstein s1oCA Democratic Sr Senator 
Ted Kennedy s1oMA Democratic Senator (until 2009) 
Mary Landrieu s1oLA Democratic Sr Senator 
Barack Obama s2pIL Former Democratic Senator (until 2008) 



Republicans participating in 06-SP3971



Independents participating in 06-SP3971

Joseph Lieberman s1oCT Independent Sr Senator; Gore's VP nominee (Retiring) 



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 5
Republicans: 0
Independents: 1


















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