Speeches and Statements

Murphy Floor Speech on her Amendment to the PRO Act

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Washington, March 9, 2021 | comments

Mr. Chairman,


I rise in support of my amendment in the en bloc package.  If it is approved, I will vote for the bill.

 

The PRO Act aims to protect the right of workers to decide whether to form a union that can negotiate with their employer over working conditions.

 

It proceeds from the principle that America is stronger when the middle class is stronger—and the middle class is stronger when unions are stronger.

 

This principle is personal for me.  I grew up in Virginia, and my dad worked at a power plant, and he was in a union.  He was a refugee from Vietnam.  He had incredible work ethic, but he struggled with English and relied on the union to fight for him to have a living wage and good health care.  This allowed our family to have opportunities we otherwise wouldn’t have had.

 

There are many provisions in the PRO Act I support.  There are also provisions that give me pause, especially the changes made to the definitions of “employee” and “joint employer” in the National Labor Relations Act.

 

I thank the Education and Labor Committee and Democratic leadership for working with me to craft an amendment that addresses my concerns enough for me to support the PRO Act’s passage.

My amendment requires GAO to prepare a report on the impact of these two changes on workers and businesses.  The President is required to consider the report and he can recommend that Congress modify one or both of these definitions. 

My amendment also expresses the Sense of the House that Congress shall consider whether to accept, reject, or modify any recommendations received from the President. 

This is called evidence-based policymaking—and we should do more of it.

I urge support for my amendment and I yield back.

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