By Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) - 09/14/10 09:39 PM EDT
After spending the better part of a year focused on passing a trillion-dollar healthcare takeover, Washington liberals ignored good policy ideas to create jobs and even failed to pass a budget. The result of these misplaced priorities? An extremely frustrated electorate. Even the discussion of passing more unpopular legislation before November would be detrimental to liberals this fall.
This means we can expect the lame-duck session to be anything but lame. This upcoming lame-duck session — the time after the election and before the new Congress is sworn in — is seen by liberals as their last chance to pass vastly unpopular legislation, such as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), that the public knows will kill jobs.
The government could establish unions if more than 50 percent of workers sign a petition and would prohibit a private vote. This is in direct opposition to an existing law that allows workers to vote in a secret ballot that is overseen by the federal government, and it is also a violation of common-sense personal privacy.
If this unpopular bill is passed through Congress, you can certainly expect President Obama to sign the bill into law, as he was an original co-sponsor of the outrageous legislation while in the Senate.
The repercussions of implementation are staggering: Card check could potentially add 1.5 million members to unions, which have been declining since their peak in 1979. As union membership increases, so will unemployment. In fact, according to a non-partisan firm, as many as 600,000 people could lose their jobs from this bill alone. With 9.6 percent of Americans out of work, we should pass policies that heal our economic wounds, not add salt to them.
Card check would increase government regulation in the private market. From the day the union is certified, the employer and the union have 120 days to reach an agreement. If none is reached, governmental arbitrators implement a contract, effectively making the private company government-regulated. After 90 days from union certification, either party can ask a federal arbitrator to intervene.
Raising awareness about attempts to pass such wide-sweeping legislation after the election is half the battle in preventing this job-killing bill from passing. If Americans across the country learn about liberals’ plans to bring up unpopular legislation before the new Congress is sworn in, calls, e-mails and faxes from concerned citizens are sure to follow.
We should fight to pass the Secret Ballot Protection Act, H.R. 866, to protect the right of workers to have secret ballot elections and prevent recognition of a union that was formed without such a process.
If liberal leadership in Congress is unwilling to listen to the 74 percent of all union voters who oppose card check, then it is my hope that we can muster enough bipartisan support from lawmakers who recognize the importance of a secret ballot to block this dangerous legislation.
Rep. Wilson is a member of the Education and Labor Committee.