With U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh being grilled yesterday by the House Committee on Education and Labor, very few news outlets focused on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, choosing to point out GOP push back regarding enhanced unemployment benefits and poor job growth.
But the passage of the PRO Act is pivotal to the Democrat agenda; so pivotal that its main tenet, the “ABC” test and most provisions of the act have been stuffed into the now flailing infrastructure bill. It is also newsworthy that the last holdouts for support of the controversial bill are not those evil, obstructionist Republicans, but Democrats–three of them, to be exact. The two Arizona Senators: Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema; and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner:
The legislation in question is the Protecting the Right to Work Act (PRO Act), and it currently is being cosponsored by just about every Democrat in the Senate, except for the two senators from Arizona and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.
The independent business community appreciates Senator Warner withholding his support of this economically devastating legislation and is counting on him to continue to do so.
The PRO Act would make major changes to what it means to be a “joint employer.” As background, when two or more business entities share certain employer responsibilities for a worker, then they are determined to be a joint employer under the National Labor Relations Act.
This AP opinion piece above is definitely anti-PRO Act. So is every independent professional, entrepreneur, franchisor and small business person in the country.
I can't thank @SenatorSinema @MarkWarner @CaptMarkKelly enough for NOT cosponsoring #PROAct and standing firm against massive pressure from unions, DSA, and other Dems in Congress. You are protecting the livelihoods of 50M+ #freelancers. THANK YOU! #NoProAct #FightForFreelancers
— Janet – #NoABCforUSA #FightforFreelancers (@webcodepro) June 10, 2021
Unions may make a lot of noise and throw up a lot of manufactured polls, but mark my words: Nobody who enjoys the freedom to work as they see fit, and employs likeminded people want this disaster. Here at RedState, we have documented this fact here, here, here, and here, as well as my colleague Brandon Morse produced a very comprehensive video on the untold damage that will result if this awful act is passed.
What the PRO Act truly seeks to destroy is the independent contractor model and economic freedom in this country. Unions are no longer self-sustaining: unfunded pension liabilities, massive corruption, and bloated leader paychecks cut into profit margins real quickly. Add to this the fact that union membership has sunk like a stone since the 2018 Supreme Court Janus decision affirmed an individual's freedom to no longer give up their hard-earned dollars to support an agenda they may not agree with. Big Labor has been frothing at the mouth ever since, and has used their stranglehold in the blue states like California (see, Gonzalez, AB5) to further erode these freedoms. The PRO Act is simply AB5 on steroids, nothing more–and all our elected representatives know this, whether they sponsored/voted for it or not.
Today I asked @SecMartyWalsh about the #PROAct and why the Biden Admin continues to support a policy that limits flexibility and opportunity for independent contractors. We have already seen how #AB5 negatively impacted workers in California.
Watch ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/YP7DrpLNSV
— Rep. Michelle Steel (@RepSteel) June 9, 2021
While much hay has been made over Sen. Sinema, and her refusal to blow up the filibuster, the progressives are soft-peddling their outrage against Sen. Mark Kelly's lack of commitment to the team. Because he is up for re-election in 2022, and the winds of change in Arizona do not appear to be blowing in his favor, Sen. Kelly continues to hedge his bets. On the one hand, the law will destroy independent professionals and small businesses in his state, so he may not want to be the undertaker that applies the nail to that coffin. On the other hand, if Kelly continues to not take a stand one way or the other, he will be considered a squish, and a poor investment at that. The Unions will have no qualms in moving their lucrative campaign coffers and endorsements to a challenger to primary him.
As the Intercept lays out:
SEN. MARK KELLY has resisted co-sponsoring a major piece of labor law reform legislation known as the PRO Act, citing a policy of not endorsing measures that don't also have Republican support, according to sources familiar with the reasoning provided to advocates of the bill.
Winning Kelly's support for the legislation is crucial, as it is hoped that if he comes on board he could bring his Arizona colleague, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, with him, leaving backers just three cosponsors short of the 50 that would bring the bill to the floor. Kelly has told advocates that he doesn't want to be the only Arizona senator to cosponsor the bill, so backers of the bill are hoping to win the two in tandem.
From all I have read on the progressive and Democrat forums, like Democratic Underground, there's definite anger and disappointment towards Sinema, and an air of desperation in general. Good, let's hope it stays that way.
Without support from [Manchin] or other filibuster defenders, like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Democratic senators will be forced to confront the limits of their fragile majority. If Democrats decided to go it alone on the big infrastructure bill, as talks with Republican senators stall, they would need to be unified because they would have no votes to spare.