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Public Statements

FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LaTOURETTE. I'm going to be brief in this opening.

Let me just make this observation. This is the 17th extension, I believe, of the FAA bill. We haven't had an FAA bill since 2003, and this is going to take it to two more years because the President said he won't sign this bill unless this amendment is adopted. The Senate has declared this a nonstarter; and so if we want to give fancy speeches, and for those just tuning in around the country, welcome to whack the union night because this will be a fourth, fifth anti-union vote that has nothing to do with the aviation system.

Even on the last amendment, I've got to tell you, you can't say it costs jobs and increases costs at the same time. If you hire the same amount of workers before Davis-Bacon and hire two times as many workers, well, the project is going to cost the same. So it's that kind of circular argument that's leading this circular firing squad.

It's a good amendment. I urge its adoption.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. MICA. Unfortunately, I have to strongly disagree with my good friends and colleagues, the gentleman from Ohio and the gentleman from Illinois, on this amendment.

What's proposed as fairness is really probably the height of unfairness. We've had 75 years of rule and law in which to organize. In the transportation sector, you had to have a majority of all of the individuals that worked there, all the people that would be potential members, and a majority of those folks would have to vote in the union, and I have no problem with union representation. The President packed the board of the National Mediation Board, and on a 2-1 vote, they changed 75 years of ruling.

Now, what's particularly unfair, and the dirty little secret in all this is, they didn't change it to decertify to shed the union. They left it so you still have to have all majority plus one of all of the members. So this is not fair by any means. We should allow unionization. We should allow votes of it; but for those again who are affected who have to pay the dues, who have to abide by the union rules and regulations that they set, it's not fair.

So I wish this was crafted in a different way for fairness, but it's not. So, again, they upset 75 years in which it worked very well. In fact, they told me today that under the 75 years, you had a larger number than most recent votes under this rule. I think it's 50 percent to 70 percent, something like that. So, if you really want to favor unionization in a fair way, let's have it the way it worked for many years and oppose this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 15 seconds just to say this is a good example of what's going on here. The last amendment was going to repeal Davis-Bacon that's been around for 80 years, but 80 years is okay, 75 years isn't. That doesn't even make sense in this debate or anywhere else in America.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

When people read this record, they really need to know what this amendment is about and what we are talking about. What we are talking about is that the rule that the Mica bill repeals is that if you have 100 people who work for a company and you have an election and 70 of them show up and 65 of them vote to certify a union, the union loses because you don't get 50 plus the universe.

Now in our example, Members of Congress, where voter turnout was about 45 percent in the last election, I have got 200,000 registered voters in my district, and 100,000 show up, I get 70,000. I'm having champagne. You know, This is great, Honey. We won another one. We fooled them again. Well, I would lose 130,000-70,000 because the rule that has been in place since 1935--and again, I am saddened that folks--maybe you have to have an even number to be bad law. But good law is, you know, something that is only 75 years. That's just nuts. I mean, that is crazy.

And I will steal from my friend from Illinois (Mr. Costello) who is the cosponsor of this amendment. You know, when the Constitution was framed, who could vote in this country? White guys who owned land. And if you asked them 75 years later, they may have said, Man, I can't believe they changed that. It's unbelievable. Or how about women? Another 100 years, women couldn't vote in this country. If you asked some guys today, they may say, The country really got screwed up when you gave women the right to vote. That is a non sequitur. It's a false argument, and the best proof is right here in this House of Representatives.

When the old majority was on their way out--and we all know they didn't do anything--we needed to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open until March 4. Well, you know what, 75 of our Members went home for Christmas. So that CR, to keep the government open, passed 193-165. If the Mica rule is kept in place, the government would have shut down, and we would have lost that vote 193-240.

Please pass the amendment.

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