WASHINGTON—Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after House Republicans voted down an amendment introduced by the CPC to disqualify certain federal contracts for any corporation that committed wage theft or other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Contractors pocket taxpayer money and then commit wage theft by denying workers overtime pay or forcing them to work off the clock. A recent National Employment Law Project (NELP) survey found that 21 percent of federal contract workers surveyed were not paid overtime and 11% have been forced to work ‘off the clock.’ The federal government could lead the way by disqualifying contractors who practice wage theft, but House Republicans voted today against an amendment to do exactly that.

“The failure of this amendment illustrates who Republicans defend. Speaker Boehner refuses to allow a vote to raise the federal minimum wage or renew unemployment insurance. House Republicans have focused relentlessly on taking away affordable health care and investigating Benghazi because they believe that is how they will win November. Unfortunately, working families have been left out of the Republican political strategy.

“Taxpayer money must be spent wisely. As the largest purchaser of goods and services in the nation, the federal government must find a way to make sure funds are going to companies that treat their workers fairly and give American families a chance to succeed.”