Kline Blocks Vote Against Fair Pay; Resulting in Discharge Petition

Chairman John Kline (R-MN-02) did not speak on the House floor yesterday, but his actions — and inactions — were discussed.

Two matters were being discussed … Chairman Kline’s H. R. 1120 Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act which effectively prevents American employees from seeking remedies when their rights are violated under the National Labor Relations Act; and H.R. 377 Paycheck Fairness Act which Chairman Kline has refused to consider for a hearing much less a vote.

As is his custom, the powerful Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, let his road blocker — Dr. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05) do his “speaking”

VirginiaFoxxMs. 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.

Dr. Foxx is being her normal “pleasant” self … never missing a chance to define anything as “liberal” … yet, Dr. Foxx knows that the White House cannot direct private businesses even those business that she would describe as being part of “most liberal group in the country”.

If Chairman Kline wants it, it gets done. Committee Republicans introduced H.R. 1120 and voted it out of Committee in less than five legislative days. Not a single hearing was held on the bill. There was no opportunity to examine the implications of H.R. 1120, no objective assessments by any experts, and no evaluation of the impact on the millions of workers and employers who will be affected by this legislation. The legislation was written and approved by Republicans. The final votes should come today … and then it will probably be ignored by the Senate.

Conversely, the Paycheck Fairness Act is legislation that Chairman Kline opposes … it has 192 co-sponsors and has been promoted by President Obama in his State of the Union Address as well as by his potential MN-02 challenger in 2014, Sona Mehring.

During the course of the debate on Chairman Kline’s NLRB bill, a vote was taken to consider the moving forward the Paycheck Fairness Act. In that vote, Chairman Kline prevailed, thus denying consideration of the bill.

Now, a discharge petition has been started to force action. Discharge Petition Number 1 already has 93 signatures in less than one day.

Besides Dr. Foxx’s comments, the debate did include some appropriate questioning of the motivations of the NLRB legislation as well as the overall Republican-controlled House expressed by Jared Pollis (D-CO-02) (highlights below):

This bill before us is just another partisan ploy to undermine union workers and continues the Republican war against the middle class.
First we had the Ryan budget, which would put the burden of paying for two wars and tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of seniors and our middle class families. Now we have a bill that would result in violations of worker rights going unpunished, union elections not being certified, and that would end recourse for workers who are wrongfully terminated.
Instead of letting the courts do their job, Republicans want to take a Big Government action by preempting any decision from a higher court.
This bill ignores the fact that Republicans in the Senate would not allow for a vote on any of the President’s nominees, and said publicly that they just wanted to make the NLRB inoperative.
Mr. Speaker, rather than addressing a number of issues that my colleagues have talked about here today, whether that issue is gas prices, whether it’s equal pay for women, whether that’s equal pay in the White House or equal pay for Main Street America, that’s something that’s important to American families. Whether it’s balancing our budget, whether it’s keeping taxes low and making sure that American businesses can go and create jobs, none of those things are being talked about here today. Instead, we are bringing forward a bill that would be a bureaucratic nightmare, all without protecting a single American worker and without protecting a single American business.
I’d love to see us spending more time balancing the budget and in training and educating our workforce–preparing kids for the jobs of the future. We have limited floor time here in Washington. Every moment that we have is sponsored by the taxpayers of this great country. We owe it to those who elect us and those who pay for this body to be open as they pay for the very cameras which allow Americans to watch us here today. We owe it to them to invest the limited time we have here wisely, on critical issues of national importance, including making sure that women across our country are paid the same amount for equal work.

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