House Democrats were resolute — and loquacious — but were unable to derail the latest Republican move to significantly weaken federal labor unions.
After seemingly endless discussion Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was poised to advance legislation designed to undermine “official time.” It permits union representatives to engage in certain actions while on the government’s payroll. Those actions, by the way, benefit not just union members, but all agency workers, agencies generally and ultimately taxpayers.
The committee meeting began at 10 a.m. and recessed just before 8 p.m., with time out for an afternoon subcommittee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service. Committee members, tired from a long day, planned to vote on Thursday.
Much of the day centered on Rep. Jody Hice’s (R-Ga.) bill that would prohibit labor leaders who spend at least 80 percent of their time on union-related activities from counting that time toward retirement. This backdoor approach would not directly kill official time, but the cut in compensation would strongly deter participation by union leaders, leaving official time seriously wounded.
Republicans have long targeted official time and their chances for success are better now than ever with President Trump in office. The Senate, however, would still have to pass the bill, where a Democratic filibuster could stop it.
Jody Hice is pictured above.
You can read the rest at the Washington Post.