How Badly Does The GOP Want To Obliterate Unions? Only 10 Of Them Voted Against The Latest Republican Scheme To Slam Labor
It's not that the 10 House Republicans are especially pro-working family... it's just that all are in districts where the union vote is important. These 10 stood up to Boehner and Cantor Friday and crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats against a vicious anti-union bill by David Roe (R-TN):
• Rodney Davis (R-IL)A gaggle of New York and Pennsylvania Republicans... no Southerners, obviously. The neo-Confederates all voted in a bloc against working families, their right to collective bargaining, paralyzing the NLRB, blocking the only path that workers have to workplace justice.
• Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
• Chris Gibson (R-NY)
• Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm (R-NY)
• David Joyce (R-OH)
• Peter King (R-NY)
• David McKinley (R-WV)
• Pat Meehan (R-PA)
• Tom Reed (R-NY)
• Don Young (R-AK)
The House voted Friday to freeze the work of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a reaction to a federal court's finding that two of the NLRB's current three board members were unconstitutionally appointed by President Obama in 2012.Obviously obstructionist Republicans in the Senate are filibustering Obama's NLRB nominees from being voted on so they can keep the agency from functioning. Andy Hounshell is a steel worker in Middletown, Ohio, the heart of OH-08, the congressional district that has been sending John Boehner to Congress since 1991. Hounshell is also vice president of his union local and right after the vote we called and asked him if this vote-- which has been largely ignored by the media-- is worth writing about. He sure thought so. "If there was ever any doubt to anyone that the GOP doesn't care about workers in this country, it was made clear today. This attack on the NLRB today is an attempt at taking away the one agency of the government that hears disputes between workers and employers. If they aren't cutting funding for the NLRB, they are passing partisan legislation like this. What Congress needs to be doing is working on legislation that will create jobs, not handcuffing an agency that was created to protect workers. When Americans are looking help in our economy, the corporations are getting a free pass from the GOP. This is just another example of why I am a Democrat, and why I am running for the Ohio 8th District." It's also an example of why Blue America has endosed Andy's congressional campaign. Please consider contributing if you can-- here on our 2014 House page.
...[T]he GOP-favored legislation would freeze the work of the NLRB board as it is currently constituted and block the enforcement of the decisions the board has made since Obama's appointments have been in place. Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) said the court ruling calls into question all of the board's decisions, and that its work should therefore be frozen.
"The work of the board is tainted," Kline said. "Every decision it issues is ripe for appeal on the basis that the board itself is not legitimate.
"In fact, employers and unions are now citing the recent court ruling as a reason why board decisions should be overturned," he added. "As it currently exists, no one-- employer, worker or union-- can rely upon a board decision today."
Democrats have said the bill is just part of a GOP attack against the NLRB, and said Republicans have no interest in a functioning board.
"This is really part two of a strategy by the Republican majority in the House, and the Republican minority in the other body, to paralyze the rights of Americans to organize and bargain collectively," Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said.
Democrats also said Congress should wait for the Supreme Court to make a final decision on whether Obama's appointments were unconstitutional.
"When have we ever enshrined an intermediate court decision into statute? It makes absolutely no sense," Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said during Thursday debate.
Under the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act, the work of the NLRB board would be shut down, although other NLRB functions and regional offices would continue to work. In addition, all of the board's rulings since early 2012 could not be enforced, until at least one of two conditions is met. One is a Supreme Court ruling that says Sharon Block and Richard Griffin were constitutionally appointed, and the other is the Senate appointment of enough new board members to give the NLRB a valid quorum.
The sine die adjournment of Congress at the end of this year would also lift the freeze.
Today, the NLRB has only three board members, which means there is no quorum available unless both Block and Griffin are available. The third member is NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce.