Kline’s NLRB bill passes a divided House

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday sponsored by GOP Congressman John Kline that would roll back new rules around union elections recently agreed to by the National Labor Relations Board.

The measure passed 235 to 188 with all of Minnesota’s Republican House members (except Michele Bachmann, who was absent) voting for the bill and all four DFL members voting no.

As recently reported by MPR News, Kline, the chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, has become the GOP’s point man for a sustained campaign against the Democratic-controlled NLRB.

Kline’s bill would reverse a rule passed by the agency over the summer that would hasten the pace of workplace elections about forming a union.

Republicans have also cast this and other bills that would roll back rules issued by regulatory agencies as part of their approach for reviving the economy.

“The legislation says we shouldn’t allow unelected bureaucrats to dictate policies that make our workplaces less competitive,” said Kline during the House floor debate.

Democrats, who draw considerable financial and voter support from labor unions, strongly opposed Kline’s legislation.

“This bill before us won’t do anything to help the economy or create jobs, and it places obstacles in front of workers seeking to exercise their right to organize,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.

The measure now heads to the Democratic-controlled Senate where it is unlikely to be voted on.

Kline was not the only member of Minnesota’s delegation who was involved with the bill. DFL Rep. Tim Walz offered an amendment that would have prevented the legislation from applying to workplaces that have been cited for violating labor laws against employees who are military veterans.

Walz’s amendment failed by a 200-221 vote.

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