March 16 Erik Paulsen Correspondence Corner : St. Paul group pleas ignored

Erik Paulsen regularly issues a video Correspondence Corner in which he responds to constituent questions.
It is a great ploy — Congressman Paulsen determines what question is to be answered … thus, providing him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues that he wishes to address as if they are the most critical issues that voters want addressed.
The MN Political Roundtable will be evaluating Congressman Paulsen’s responses and encouraging readers to offer their own assessments.

Today’s topic: H.R.3441 – the so-called “Save Local Business Act

Tomorrow’s topic: H.R. 5072: Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 2018

In this week’s Correspondence Corner, Erik Paulsen answers an email from Ray in Wayzata

Ray is a pretty smart cookie … he knows what John Boehner had promised voters in his Pillars of a New Majority … and that Speaker Ryan has operated in an exactly opposite directions.
For those that forgot the premise of the Pillars of a New Majority, read this or the shortened version

Leaders overreach because the rules allow them to.

Legislators duck their responsibilities because the rules help them to. And when the rules don’t suit the majority’s purposes, they are just ignored.

Sounds like good governance … members offer bills; committees review, amend and approve; full House votes; passes on to Senate; and eventually to the President.

Admittedly under the Republican-controlled House the Democrats are many times unable to alter legislation … but at least there should be some process.

For example, H.R. 3441 was offered on July 27; October 4th the appropriate committee approved it by a 23 – 17 vote (so obviously there were some strong differences of opinions); November 7th the bill was approved on a largely partisan basis and sent to the Senate … where it sits.

Rather than wait for the Senate to act, Ray wants Congressman Paulsen to include H.R. 3441 the so-called “Save Local Business Act” in the next omnibus spending bill (heh, did you know the government shuts down this Friday unless Congress acts?)

It’s exactly what is wrong with the Republican-controlled Congress — everything is now being done in massive must-pass spending bills when Members have no choice other than to face a shutdown.

Congressman Paulsen was probably glad to hear from Ray since he had co-sponsored H.R.3441 – the so-called “Save Local Business Act”.

Gosh, this shouldn’t be a surprise that the self-described “Champion of Small Business” and advocate of free enterprise would want his name attached to a bill entitled “Save Local Business Act”.

Yet, if Congressman Paulsen would have listened to Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance of St. Paul, MN, he may have realized that they are concerned that it will provide a safe haven for unscrupulous employers who deliberately shield themselves from liability for abusing workers and stealing jobs away from law-abiding businesses.

The so-called “Save Local Business Act” bill should be named the “Crush Local Workers Act.”

The SWACCA write (highlights below)

I am writing on behalf of the Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance (SWACCA) to express our strong opposition to H.R. 3441, the “Save Local Business Act.” This legislation will not benefit honest small businesses that create good jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits. It will actually place such employers at a permanent competitive disadvantage to unscrupulous companies that seek to thrive solely at the expense of their workers and taxpayer-funded social safety- net programs.
SWACCA is a national alliance of wall and ceiling contractors committed to working in partnership with our workers and our customers to provide the highest-quality, most efficient construction services. Through the superior training, skill, and efficiency of our workers SWACCA contractors are able to provide both cost-effective construction services and middle class jobs with health and retirement benefits. Our organization prides itself on representing companies that accept responsibility for paying fair wages, abiding by health and safety standards, workers compensation laws, and unemployment insurance requirements.
Unfortunately, however, we increasingly find ourselves bidding against companies that seek to compete solely on the basis of labor costs. They do so by relieving themselves of the traditional obligations associated with being an employer. The news is littered with examples of contractors who have sought to reduce costs by willfully violating the laws governing minimum wage, overtime, workers compensation unemployment insurance, and workplace safety protections.
Simply put, H.R. 3441 would create a standard that would surely accelerate a race to the bottom in the construction industry and many other sectors of the economy. It would further tilt the field of competition against honest, ethical businesses.

“a race to the bottom” in which some companies “violating the laws governing minimum wage, overtime, workers compensation unemployment insurance, and workplace safety protections” — yet Congressman Paulsen supports this legislation.

The St. Paul group wasn’t the only group that expressed the same concern … but on the other hand there were supporters of the “Save Local Business Act” … predominately, the US Chamber of Commerce; International Franchise Association; the American Hotel and Lodging Association; etc.

The Save Local Business Act would do nothing to protect small businesses.
Instead, the bill would ensure that small businesses are left with sole responsibility for business practices often mandated by large corporations like franchisors. It would establish a joint employer standard that lets big corporations avoid liability for labor and employment violations.

Hmmm … wanna bet how many of the supporters of “Save Local Business Act” are also Paulsen Donors ?

Thus, it is appropriate to argue about the merits of the so-called “Save Local Business Act” (aka “Crush Local Workers Act”), but what we shouldn’t have to argue is the undemocratic process of sneaking it into a “must pass” spending bill.
The Senate needs to exert its responsibilities and vote up or down on the proposal … not be be forced to act based on Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell’s direction.

Congressman Paulsen is wrong on the legislation and wrong to even consider the process … yet these are just two examples of how Erik Paulsen and the TrumpPartyPuppets are on “a race to the bottom”.

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