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Public Statements

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. Madam Chairman, the right to a secret ballot should be sacred in America, and I stand in unison with my colleagues from South Dakota, Utah, and Arizona in defunding the NLRB's ability to sue States over the right to a secret ballot.

For decades, we have seen a sharp decline in private sector labor unions, while government employee labor unions have used the political process to expand. In an effort to curb the recent labor trends in the private sector, the administration's taxpayer-funded voice for labor--the National Labor Relations Board--has filed numerous suits against right-to-work States and enacted over-the-top, union-friendly policies simply because right-to-work States like South Carolina allow employees to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to join labor unions.

The NLRB's latest attempt to boost labor unions involves suing two States, Arizona and South Dakota, and intimidating several other States because of State laws protecting the secret-ballot process in labor union elections.

Just recently, 80 percent of South Carolinians voted overwhelmingly--80 percent--to enact secret-ballot protections in union certification elections. These are exactly the protections that NLRB bureaucrats are attacking today.

This is not only an attack on our states' rights, but also on the secret-ballot election process that allows workers to vote their conscience without fear of union retaliation.

My amendment does not eliminate the NLRB or strip away all of their funding--even though they probably deserve exactly that after 2 years of abusing businesses, including Boeing in my home State. Rather, my amendment simply protects the States whose citizens have spoken on this issue by stopping the NLRB lawsuits against those States.

I urge my colleagues to stand up for workers' rights, stand up for the rights of voters in our States who have spoken, and stand up for the rights of our States themselves and support this amendment.


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