Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today issued the following statement following reports that the Bush administration is moving forward with plans to impose costly and unjustified new reporting requirements on unions and union members:
"Once again, President Bush is using the Department of Labor as a weapon to undermine the labor movement. Under the new rules, tens of thousands of union members will be forced, without justification, to navigate a bureaucratic maze of financial disclosure forms and meet onerous reporting requirements about information as private as their personal mortgages and loans. The information will then be publicly released on the internet. The Bush Administration's goal is harassment, plain and simple. We have a duty to hold President Bush accountable for this ideological abuse of power and to restore a Department of Labor that is actually pro-labor."
The new requirements will significantly expand the number of individuals who must file reports with the federal government and the amount of information they will be required to submit. Among the new rules is one that would require tens of thousands of union members and their families to research whether the banks that hold their mortgages and loans do business with their union or a company represented by the union. These members would then be required to submit personal financial information about the mortgages and loans to the Department of Labor, which would post that information on a public web site. The Center for American Progress issued a report this week that describes the administration's efforts to use the Office of Labor-Management Standards in the Department of Labor to undermine unions for political purposes, most recently through the new reporting rules.