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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1120, Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Relations Management Relations Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 146 provides for a closed rule providing for consideration of H.R. 1120, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. Although the Rules Committee solicited amendments last week, we received only two amendments, one Democrat and one Republican, neither of which was germane to the bill.

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues on the House Education and Workforce Committee and I have been hard at work conducting oversight and challenging the National Labor Relations Board on its anti-jobs agenda. In January 2012, President Obama made three so-called ``recess appointments'' to the National Labor Relations Board while Congress was not in recess, in violation of the Constitution. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently ruled these appointments were unconstitutional. This decision calls into question every action the Board has taken since these so-called recess appointments were made.

The bill before us today, H.R. 1120, would provide greater certainty for employers and unions by requiring the Board to cease all activity that requires a three-member quorum and prohibits the Board from enforcing any decision made since the appointments in question were made in January 2012.

It is important to note also what this bill does not do. It does not prohibit the National Labor Relations Board's regional offices from accepting and processing charges of unfair labor practices. The bill also allows the Board to resume activities if one of the three following conditions is met:

The U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of recess appointments;

A quorum of the Board is confirmed by the Senate;

The expiration of the recess appointees' terms at the end of this year.

Finally, H.R. 1120 ensures any action approved by the so-called ``recess appointees'' is reviewed and approved by a future Board that has been constitutionally appointed.

As my colleagues across the aisle are sure to point out, the President has recently nominated three individuals for Senate confirmation, in addition to the two he nominated in February. The bill before us remains necessary as a commonsense pause button on the Board's activities while the legal uncertainty is resolved. It would give employers and unions the certainty they need to operate in the interim.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this rule and the underlying bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, we need jobs in this country. There are nearly 12 million Americans unemployed and anxious to find work.

President Obama and the Senate Democrats' policies of higher taxes, record spending, and bigger government have failed to create jobs or boost economic growth. Put simply, this economy is growing too slowly to replace the millions of jobs lost. The failure of the President's runaway spending, deficits, and debt is being felt by every family struggling to put food on the table and pay their mortgages.

The March 2013 labor force participation rate is the lowest since 1979, and the 1-month increase in March 2013 of 663,000 new people not in the labor force is the largest increase ever recorded for the month of March since this data started being collected in 1975. If these individuals ``not in the workforce'' were counted in the official unemployment rate, that rate would increase to 11.2 percent.

Additionally, there are 47.3 million Americans receiving food stamps, which is equivalent to 15 percent

of the population and represents, by far, the largest number in history. This number stands in stark contrast to when President Obama took office and there were only 31.9 million Americans using food stamps. Today, nearly one in seven Americans is on food stamps. What a sad commentary about our country.

All these statistics ultimately say the same thing: everyday Americans will keep struggling until our economy turns around. Fortunately for the American people, House Republicans have a plan for helping to restore economic growth and create jobs throughout the country.

The liberal elite simply cannot understand that more spending does not mean more jobs. Reckless deficit spending, mounting debt, growing red tape, higher taxes, a confusing Tax Code, higher energy prices, and rampant uncertainty all have job creators playing defense.

Campaigning for another failed stimulus and more job-destroying taxes, President Obama has repeatedly and falsely asserted that ``Congress isn't willing to move'' legislation to facilitate job growth.

While the President plays politics, House Republicans have been working and approving legislation to promote economic growth and job creation. The Republican plan for growth tears down barriers to job creation because jobs are priority number one.

As part of this plan, we are working diligently to cut job-killing red tape that costs small businesses $10,585 per employee each year; reduce gas prices; create jobs by producing more American energy, which is important since every penny increased per gallon of gas costs consumers $4 million per day; simplify the job-killing Tax Code that cost Americans $168 billion in 2010 just to comply with it; prevent job-killing tax hikes on small businesses; reduce uncertainty by tackling the debt crisis with responsible spending cuts; and the Republican plan will get Washington out of the way and put American job creators back on the offense.

Growing jobs and eliminating the deficit go hand in hand. To balance the budget, we need both spending cuts and real economic growth.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

This is a typical liberal habit: do as I say, not as I do.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that our colleague from Connecticut should direct her comments to the White House. There is absolutely nothing to stop the White House from correcting the egregious pay differentials that exist there among the most liberal group in the country.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to reiterate again--and my colleague from Connecticut has left--that there is absolutely nothing that would prevent the White House from giving equal pay to people in jobs there. We don't need new legislation to do that. It's certainly possible for the White House to do it now. And that is one of the most egregious situations of differential pay that exists in the country right now.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I want to respond again to my colleague from Colorado in his saying that we have to pass a bill on pay equity to get the President to do the right thing. That just seems incomprehensible to me.

I think the President should be our leader in this country and should practice what he preaches, and so should our colleagues across the aisle. I think that the White House could show itself as a model for the rest of the country by paying the women in the White House the same as the men are being paid. I find it interesting that our colleagues have simply ignored what is happening in the White House and call for a bill to be passed to make the President do what is the right thing. In the past, our country and the people in our country have looked to our President to be a role model for us.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time, and I would ask the gentleman if he is ready to close.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, House Republicans are committed to upholding the Constitution and providing certainty for employers, employees, and unions. The rule before us today provides for the consideration of a bill that ensures that certainty by pressing ``pause'' on the National Labor Relations Board's activities until the legal uncertainty is resolved.

Therefore, I urge my colleagues to vote for this rule and the underlying bill.

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