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Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WOMACK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman.

Mr. Speaker, our Framers were visionaries. They had the foresight to not only establish constitutional principles and processes that address the challenges of their day, but that still sustain and guide this country 230-plus years later.

Now, I don't think there's any question that this particular government, this Federal Government, has gotten away from proven and time-tested processes required by our Constitution and has stretched constitutional authority to its limits.

We're operating under continuing resolutions. That seems to be normal today. We've submitted budgets that are now over 2 months late. And we have taken other steps, right here in these Halls, that have served to usurp the rights that belong to our States.

Doing so has left us vulnerable, Mr. Speaker, to rulings like the D.C. Court of Appeals ruling on February 8 that said that the President's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.

Now, like my friends on the other side of the aisle, and like you, Mr. Speaker, we have all raised our hand and said that we're going to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and you know the rest. We've all taken that oath.

The Noel Canning decision holds the President's recess appointments are in direct contradiction to what the Framers outlined in article II, section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution. And, as a result of the ruling, each decision made by that Board since that time has been called into question.

Mr. Speaker, I, personally, don't have anything against the individuals who have been appointed to the NLRB. And it's irrelevant whether I agree or disagree with the Board's rulings.

My concerns are, and the concern of each and every Member of this House should be the fact that we continually push the limits of our Constitution, the checks and balances outlined in this sacred document.

At its best, this Court of Appeals ruling provides uncertainty, and the last thing that this country, this economy needs is uncertainty.

I recognize the weight of the decisions made on the interpretation of the Constitution. They are tough. It is no easy task. And that's why I don't think it's unreasonable to press the pause button on the decisions emanating from this Board until we get a final ruling. It is irresponsible, in my strong opinion, not to.

That's why I appreciate my friend from Tennessee (Mr. Roe) for authoring this legislation. I support it wholeheartedly and recommend its passage.


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