Daniel Reilly, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today against the Republicans' 'Make It Outside America' bill. Below are his remarks and a link to the video.
“First of all, the issue here has been raised by a case that is not yet concluded. Let me state that again. The issue raised in this legislation is referenced to a case that is not yet concluded. And seeks to either pose our judgment for the finder of fact and law's judgment. Normally we believe that's a bad practice, in a nation of laws not of men.
“Secondly, this bill shows clearly a basic difference between many of us on this side and many on that side of the aisle. And that is whether or not you believe that working men and women have the right to come together, to organize and to bargain collectively for their pay, their benefits and their working conditions. In fact, it is my belief that the overwhelming majority of working Americans, whether or not they have joined such an organization, find their working place safer, healthier, their pay better and the more availability of benefits than they would have if men and women had not been guaranteed the right to bargain collectively – for which they fought and some died in the 1930's and 1940's and later because people did not want them to do that.
“They wanted to say, ‘I don't care how much money we make, this is your portion.’ Now, we see super athletes will not stand for that, if they're in the NFL or if they're in the NBA or if they're in the NHL. We understand that. They see their enterprises making great money because they're great players but the owners want to pay them what they need to pay them. Why? Because they have want to maximize profits. I'm for that. That's the free enterprise system. So we set up a system where we can bargain and we can come to a fair resolution.
“But this bill says that the concomitant of that right, which is that the employer cannot retaliate for the exercising of a legal right, will be jettison. That's what this bill says. Pretty simply. Yeah, you have the right to bargain collectively but if we don't like what you're doing, we're taking a hike. We're going to retaliate. Now, I do not decide today whether or not that will be the finder of fact and law’s conclusion in this case. I don't know that Boeing did that. I don't know whether that will be the ultimate conclusion, whether Boeing violated the law by retaliating and I have told my friends at Boeing I don't know that's going to be the conclusion. But do I know this, that I am for working men and women having the right that they've now had for some 70 years. And I believe that working men and women in America, organized or unorganized, are better off because we adopted a law to protect that right.
“Do not jettison, and I close with this and I quote from a letter sent by hundreds of professors with expertise in this area. 'We are dismayed that a single complaint shall be the basis for so fundamental a reversal in longstanding law.' Do not take this step, reject this bill, vote no.”