Politico - NLRB Costing South Carolina jobs

Op-Ed

By:  Tim Scott
Date: Sept. 14, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

By Rep. Kevin McCarthy & Rep. Tim Scott

The federal government's attempt to shutter a new Boeing manufacturing plant in South Carolina will have a profoundly negative impact on thousands of hardworking Americans -- and the state's entire economy. Right now, South Carolina's unemployment rate is 10.9 percent.

This action also has broader implications about the role the Obama administration believes the federal government should play in private enterprise.

The National Labor Relations Board is alleging that Boeing violated labor laws by locating its new 787 Dreamliner facility in North Charleston, S.C. For years, Boeing has operated predominantly in Washington state, where it has invested billions of dollars and created thousands of jobs.

Now, one of the largest U.S. companies -- which just invested nearly $1 billion and created more than 1,000 well-paying jobs in South Carolina -- is entangled in what is sure to be a drawn-out legal process. They are being punished for investing in America.

Boeing's expansion to the Palmetto State did not cost a single union job back in Washington state. In fact, Boeing has added 2,000 jobs in Washington since opening its North Charleston facility. At a time when 14 million Americans are out of work, the federal government should be commending this private company for creating jobs -- not punishing it.

The NLRB's action defies logic. This one case has the potential to disrupt the creation of more than 11,000 jobs (Boeing estimates 4,000 direct jobs and South Carolina estimates two created indirectly for every direct job) in South Carolina -- which could support families and help pay mortgages.

In addition, the Obama administration's continued deference to its political allies in Big Labor -- instead of the innovators and entrepreneurs that have made America great -- only serves to fuel the uncertainty that is keeping investors on the sidelines and people out of work.

The federal government should not be telling private businesses where they can and cannot create jobs in the United States. That's why House Republicans on Thursday are taking up the bill, the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act, which would prohibit NLRB from ordering any employer to relocate, shut down or transfer employment under any circumstance.

Knowing that there won't be the threat of arbitrary government interference in private business decisions, these businesses will have more confidence in moving forward with investment decisions. The president can keep the door open for the creation of up to 11,000 jobs by telling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) to pass this bill now.

As competition increases globally, empowering entrepreneurs is more important than ever. After all, it is our nation's historic support of the entrepreneur that made us the world leader in aerospace, technology and defense.

The Obama administration's fundamental disconnect with what has made America great has the potential to drive some of our country's strongest homegrown companies into the open arms of our competitors abroad.

This new bill is just the first step in our efforts to reassure U.S. businesses -- big and small -- that we will stand up and fight to ensure the ability of risk takers to pursue their dreams, invest in smart ideas and get Americans working again.