Friday, May 10, 2013

Republicans Handed The DCCC An Attack Against Overtime On A Silver Platter... Will Steve Israel Screw Up The Politics?


Ros-Lehtinen (l), sitting in a blue district, had no fear of voting to end overtime pay because she knows Wasserman Schultz (r) will rescue her career once again

Wednesday Cantor and Boehner finally managed to pass a bill to kill overtime pay for workers, something Republicans have been trying to do since the Fair Labor Standards Act first passed in 1938. (Conservatives had kept it off the books from 1932-1938 after it was written by champion of working families, Senator Hugo Black of Alabama.) This week, Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) tried to ameliorate the impact of the Republican bill with a motion that was meant to prevent employers denying "the use of compensatory time for the following purposes: (1) to attend medical appointments; (2) to care for a sick family member or if the employee is sick; or (3) to attend counseling or rehabilitation appointments for injuries sustained by the employee as a member of the Armed Forces. The motion would also prohibit employers who have been found to violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963 from replacing monetary overtime with compensatory time." Every Republican except Walter Jones (NC) voted against it. And every Democrat-- even the 3 Blue Dogs who supported Boehner's and Cantor's antiworker crusade to screw with overtime pay, Matheson, Cuellar and Peterson-- voted for it. Shea-Porter's motion failed 200-227.

The so-called "Working Families Flexibility Act" that they got Alabama muppet Martha Roby to carry this week, failed in 1996, 1997 and 2003. In 1996 it passed the Republican-controlled House 225-195. This, obviously, was pre-Blue Dog Apocalypse of 2010, so there were 14 Democrats voting for it then (unlike 3 this week). Except for Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), who voted for it again Wednesday, none of the Democrats who crossed the aisle to join the GOP anti-worker movement are still in Congress. They've all either joined the GOP permanently, been defeated, retired, died or moved over to K Street to make it rich as a criminal lobbyist. Of the 19 Republicans who voted against it in 1996, only a few are still in Congress: Peter King (NY), who voted for it this week and, shockingly, Steve Stockman (TX) before he got involved with blowing up the Oklahoma City Federal building, voted no then but was an emphatic yes vote Wednesday; and then there were Chris Smith (NJ) and Don Young (AK), still voting no. Frank LoBiondo (NJ) was in a redder seat in 1996 and voted for it; he voted against it Wednesday. The Senate killed it.

In 1997 they brought it back as their top priority, H.R. 1 and it passed again and was again killed by the Senate. At the time Newsday reported that:
When Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) was being courted by the House leadership to support the flextime measure, he asked the assembled bigwigs if any of them had spoken to labor-- the representatives of millions of those workers the bill is supposed to help. “It was as if I had said, Have you met with somebody from Mars?’” said King, who along with Rep. Michael Forbes (R-Quogue) bucked their party to vote against the measure.
When they next tried, in 2003. the Senate thwarted them again. At the time Molly Ivins wrote "To hear the Republicans tell it, you’d think these were family-friendly bills, something like Clinton’s Family Leave Act, designed to help you balance the difficult combined demands of work and family. With such a smarm of butter over their visages do the Republicans go on about the joys of “flexibility” and “freedom of choice” that you would have to read the bills for maybe 30 seconds before figuring out they’re about repealing the 40-hour workweek and ending overtime.”

Wednesday there were 8 Republicans who voted with the Democrats, three from New Jersey, Jon Runyan, Frank LoBiondo and Chris Smith; two from New York, Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm and Richard Hanna; and one each from Pennsylvania (Pat Meehan), Ohio (David Joyce) and Alaska (Don Young). No Confederates or far right extremists. Several of them are being targeted by the DCCC and are very nervous about being perceived as too right-wing by the independents in their districts who will determine their fates. Obama won some of their districts; Romney didn't perform especially well anywhere except in Alaska. These are the eight districts with the Obama-Romney results from November:
NJ-02 (LoBiondo)- 53.5- 45.4%
NJ-03 (Runyan)- 51.8- 47.2%
NJ-04 (Smith)- 44.7- 54.2%
NY-11 (Grimm)- 51.6- 47.3%
NY-22 (Hanna)- 48.8- 49.2%
OH-14 (Joyce)- 47.6- 50.9%
PA-07 (Meehan)- 48.5- 50.4%
AK-AL (Young)- 41.2- 55.3%
The dozen Republicans who voted to take away overtime pay who are most likely to suffer at the polls in 2014 are in districts where Obama won: John Kline (MN), Scott Rigel (VA), Erik Paulsen (MN), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), presuming Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel don't sabotage whichever Democrat runs against her, Bill Young (FL), Jeff Denham (CA), Gary Miller (CA), David Valadao (CA), Chris Gibson (NY), Mike Coffman (CO), Joe Heck (NV), and Tom Latham (IA). Actually all of that presupposes a competent DCCC, which we don't have... so forget those 12 seats. The DCCC even seems to be screwing up the Gary Miller race again, where Obama beat Romney 57-41% and there was no Democrat on the ballot because of DCCC incompetence. And they seem to be falling into the exact same trap again this year. Like I've been warning; the Democrats will never win back the House with Steve Israel as DCCC Chairman. "Reptilian" or not, he just does not have what it takes to win.

Considering that reactionary, anti-worker Blue Dog Jim Matheson (UT) is still on their Frontline list-- and likely to get as much as $2,000,000 from the DCCC this cycle-- it's lucky no one at that organization has any sense of irony or they might not have sent this video out yesterday:

Labels: ,


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

In the words of Cenk Uygur "OF COURSE" he will screw it up.


Post a Comment

<< Home