Sessions Will Challenge Rules Denying Work to Wall Contractors

(Bloomberg) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he plans to challenge measures passed by some local governments to stop doing business with contractors that work on President Donald Trump’s promised wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Sessions was asked at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Thursday what the Justice Department plans to do about actions to deny local or state contracts with companies that do federal work related to the wall. He said it’s “not acceptable,” and that the department was looking at legal remedies.

“We don’t believe it’s sustainable legally, and we will challenge it wherever there’s a case to be proven,” Sessions said.

Berkeley, Oakland and Richmond in California and Tucson, Arizona, have passed resolutions to deny future business to or divest from companies that work on the wall. A number of other local and even state governments have considered similar actions.

The Associated General Contractors of America has asked Sessions to sue states and localities to prevent them from penalizing companies. The measures, and the mere threat of them, have already limited the number of firms bidding on border wall infrastructure projects, spokesman Brian Turmail said.

“It would not be difficult for the Justice Department to make a successful case,” Turmail said. “The sooner they act, the fewer areas will feel empowered to enact measures that undermine the lawful efforts of the federal government.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.