Week ahead: Senate takes aim at Obama-era 'blacklisting' rule

Week ahead: Senate takes aim at Obama-era 'blacklisting' rule

Senate Republicans plan to deliver a final blow Monday to the Labor Department's so-called blacklisting rule. 

The Senate will vote on whether to overturn the controversial Obama-era regulation through the Congressional Review Act, which empowers Republicans to roll back recently published rules without Democratic support. The House has already voted to strike down the rule.

The blacklisting rule requires federal contractors to disclose labor violations when applying to do business with the government. Proponents say this will help Uncle Sam avoid working with bad actors, but critics say unions could use it as leverage against companies.

Republican Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock Tax bills speed up global tax race to the bottom Someone besides the president should have the nuclear codes MORE (Wis.) referred to it as the "blackmailing rule."

Johnson is pushing the disapproval resolution to overturn the rule. 

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The House, meanwhile, is expected to take up legislation to set new limits on class action lawsuits.

The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act is headed to the floor for a vote. The bill requires proof that each proposed member of a class action lawsuit has the same extent of injuries before the lawsuit can be certified by a federal court. 

When the bill passed the House in January 2016 in a 211 to 188 vote, it had another piece of legislation attached to it - The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act. That bill created new requirements for asbestos victims seeking compensation through the court system. 

The joint legislation never made it to the Senate.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlattePoll: Plurality of voters want special counsels for both campaigns Gun reformers search for the next bump stock AT&T wants to probe Trump's role in Time Warner merger: report MORE (R-Va.) has now reintroduced the class action bill without the asbestos claims legislation. 

In a statement, Goodlatte said the legislation is needed to address abuses in class action litigation. 

"Today, the class action litigation system has morphed into an expensive enterprise where lawyers are often the only winners, and American businesses and consumers are the losers," he said. 

"Frivolous class action lawsuits are costing parties millions of dollars, and trial lawyers often profit at the expense of deserving victims." 

The bill also prohibits judges from approving class actions if the lawyer representing the class is a relative of a party in the class action suit. It also requires that class action lawyers only get paid after the victims and orders any third-party funding agreement to be disclosed to the court.

The House is also expected to vote on the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, which has a companion bill in the Senate. It would penalize lawyers who file baseless lawsuits. The House is also working on the Innocent Party Protection Act, which would establish a uniform standard for determining whether a defendant has been wrongly added to a lawsuit. 

On Wednesday, a House Science subcommittee will also hold a hearing on regulating outer space.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing that same day to examine proposed visa regulations by the Department of Homeland Security. 

 

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