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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3094, Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, when the sun rose over the country this morning, a lot of Americans got out of bed to go to a job that doesn't pay them enough to support their family. They're working part time to pay full-time bills. A lot of other Americans who have good jobs, good full-time jobs woke up this morning and worried if this was going to be the day they got their pink slip and got their layoff notice. And far too many Americans, at least 15 million of them, got up this morning and didn't have a job to go to.

Ninety percent of the people surveyed in a recent survey of this country said the American Dream is either dead or on life support. Because, see, the deal in the country has always been, if you work as hard as you can and do your fair share, then the country will give you the opportunity to move your family forward. People don't buy that anymore. They don't believe in it anymore.

And so what are we doing about it here this morning? We're having a debate about a bill that changes the rules for the way people decide whether or not to have a union in their workplace. This is an important consideration; it's a worthy consideration. I think the bill is a very bad one, but it's a credible debate to have. But it's the wrong debate to have.

Members of our caucus have gone out over the last month and have spoken to thousands of small business people, the real job creators in this country who create two out of every three jobs created in America; and here's what they've said: We're not hiring people largely because we don't have enough customers; and if we think we do have enough customers, we can't get loans from banks that we bailed out with our tax money.

That's what we ought to be discussing here today.

Now, the other side will say, no, no, these small business people aren't hiring because of their deathly fear of regulations. Well, here's what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says: When they interviewed employers who had laid people off in 2010 and said, Why did you lay people off, about 40 percent of those employers said, We laid people off because we don't have enough customers. Two-tenths of 1 percent said they laid people off because of regulation. That's what the facts are.

How do you get more customers for businesses? One idea would be to put construction workers back to work building schools and libraries and roads and bridges so they'd eat in the restaurants and buy in the stores. There's a bill pending before the House to do that, the President's jobs bill; but we're not voting on that today. We have something better to do. Another way would be to avoid a massive tax increase on the middle class of this country.


Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend.

If we don't act by January 1, there will be a $1,500 tax increase on every middle class family in this country. The President says we should postpone that tax increase so people have more money to spend, but we're not voting on that bill today. We have something more important to do.

How about the idea of a tax cut for small businesses that hire people? That's in the President's jobs bill. But we're not voting on that today because we have something more important to do. How about saying to teachers who have been laid off from the classroom, firefighters and police officers not on the job because of tax cuts in local government, how about saving their jobs so they can serve their communities and spend more in the stores and restaurants and on products in this country? That's in the President's jobs bill, but we're not voting on that because we have something more important to do.

There's a reason why 90 percent of the people of this country think the Congress is not doing a good job. It's because the Republican leadership of this Congress is voting on the wrong bill at the wrong time, and today's another sad chapter in that reality.


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