Miller to GOP: Drop your special interest crusade and work to tackle our nation’s real problems

Nov 17, 2011 Issues: Jobs and Job Training, Worker Rights


WASHINGTON – Below are the prepared remarks of Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, before the Rules Committee on the consideration of H.R. 3094, the more appropriately named “Election Prevention Act.” House floor debate on the rule is expected to begin Friday morning.

“Chairman Dreier, Ranking Member Slaughter and members of the Rules Committee, thank you for allowing me to testify. I must begin by saying that I am disappointed that we are meeting on yet another attempt to take rights away from our nation’s workers. At a time when 14 million Americans are actively looking for a job, there are clearly more important things we can be doing other than continuing the majority’s obsession with dismantling workers’ unions.

“Today’s debate stands in stark contrast to the message the American people are sending their elected officials all across the country. It’s time to drop these special interest crusades and begin to work together to tackle our nation’s real problems.

“That’s the message Ohio voters sent last week when they overwhelmingly rejected a special interest ploy to strip Ohio workers’ of their collective bargaining rights. I had hoped that this message would have been heard inside the Beltway. Unfortunately, today’s debate tells me otherwise.

“Let’s be clear: passing H.R. 3094 will not create one job to support one family. Nor will it help a worthy small business gain access to the credit they need to expand. Nor will this bill do anything to rein in China’s currency manipulation. 

“H.R. 3094’s singular goal, however, is to frustrate workers’ right to vote. It’s as simple as that. More accurately called the “Election Prevention Act,” this bill will be used by unscrupulous employers to delay elections by months or years. 

“It encourages frivolous litigation to gum up the election process and frustrate workers until they give up on having any election at all. The “Election Prevention Act” also gives employers the ability to gerrymander elections. It does this by stuffing the voter lists with voters who were never engaged by the organizing drive or never expressed interest in joining a union. This gives employers an edge in preventing an election from ever being directed in the first place.

“It is clear that H.R. 3094 is just another cynical attempt to bust workers’ unions.

“We have already seen the majority push through a bill to strip the only effective remedy from the NLRB’s arsenal to deal with unlawful outsourcing. We have seen what happens when the NLRB simply tries to enforce the law. Opponents come out “full guns a-blazin” against the agency.

“Mr. Chairman, these attacks on workers’ rights promise to inflict long-term damage to our economy. The exercise of these rights has helped create a strong middle class. And the piece by piece dismantlement of these rights will do just the opposite. 

“Our nation’s economic strength depends on whether the American worker gets a fair shake.  Because when they are fairly rewarded, they also create jobs. They support local businesses. They rebuild the middle class. That’s the key to a real and lasting economic recovery.

“I ask the Rules Committee to provide an open rule for consideration of this bill. And I urge my colleagues to oppose this deeply flawed legislation when it comes to the floor.”