Senate votes to strike down 'blacklisting rule'

Senate votes to strike down 'blacklisting rule'
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The Senate voted Monday to strike down the Labor Department’s so-called blacklisting rule, which requires federal contractors to disclose workplace violations before conducting business with Uncle Sam.

In a close vote, the upper chamber voted 49-48 to send the bill to President Trump, who faces a tough decision on whether to side with his party on regulatory reform or stick up for the working-class voters who helped elect him in November.

The Senate’s top Democrat had a warning for Trump: “You are not going to get away with constantly saying you’re in favor of working people, but signing legislation that hurts them,” Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerTougher Russia sanctions bill facing another setback Trump claims GOP has a 'big surprise' on healthcare Senate Dems step up protests ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (N.Y.) said Monday in a final plea to Trump to abandon the GOP effort to roll back the rule.

Proponents say the blacklisting rule protects the federal government from getting into bed with companies that treat their workers poorly. But critics argue the information could be used by the government and unions to unfairly “blacklist” these companies.

“This rule could potentially be used to blackmail innocent businesses during labor negotiations,” said Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonHealthcare wish lists: What moderates, conservatives want Overnight Healthcare: GOP infighting erupts over bill | How Republican governors could bring down ObamaCare repeal | Schumer asks Trump to meet with Dems GOP infighting erupts over healthcare bill MORE (R-Wis.), who pushed the disapproval resolution through the upper chamber.

But Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayThe Prescription Drug User Fee Act must refrain from adding Right To Try provisions Dem senator: I don't know if Trump 'ever understood' ObamaCare Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity MORE (D-Wash.) said the “emphasis” of the blacklisting rule “is not punishment, but in helping to bring companies into compliance with the law.”

Republicans turned to the Congressional Review Act to repeal the rule, which was one of the most controversial labor regulations from the Obama administration.

The House passed the same bill in February.

The Congressional Review Act gives the GOP majority in the House and Senate the power to overturn Obama-era regulations without support from Democrats.

This legislative tool has been employed by Republicans on a number of occasions this year to roll back controversial regulations. But prior to Trump taking office, it had only been successfully used once in 2001 by President George W. Bush.