Driving the Week: 3 Important Key Votes
This week, the Senate is expected to (finally) take up 3 bills which Heritage Action has key voted: the Postal Bailout Reform bill, the so-called Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Snap Elections Resolution of Disapproval. The postal bailout and VAWA need to be taken down, but the Senate should support the Resolution of Disapproval, and here’s why:
Snap Elections Resolution of Disapproval
Today, the Senate will vote on S.J.Res.36, a joint resolution disapproving of “snap elections”. Currently, employers have five or six weeks after a union petition is filed in order to inform their employees of the impact of unionization. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled last year that union elections could take place as soon as 10 days after an organizing petition is filed. This is commonly referred to as “snap elections,” because employers would have such little time to make a case against unionization, whereas union organizers would have been building their case for months prior to the petition being filed.
Such elections deprive employees of the opportunity to make an informed choice. According to The Heritage Foundation, “with regard to their ability to make an independent, informed choice on union organization, snap elections are no better than card check.” If unions are really about what’s best for the workers, then workers need to be able to make an informed decision about whether joining a union is really the best thing for them.
The Senate will also vote on the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2011 (S.1789). The bill includes some minor reforms to the United States Postal Services (USPS), but not enough to keep it a viable business. It also includes a $41 billion bailout.
The USPS agreed to end Saturday mail delivery services and trim their workforce by 220,000 employees. Unfortunately, S.1789 continues to mandate Saturday delivery and would force the USPS to follow lengthy procedures in order to close processing facilities, thereby making it nearly impossible to trim their workforce.
S.1789 also lowers the amount the USPS must contribute towards the current unfunded liability of its future retirees’ health benefits (that must otherwise be paid by taxpayers) and transfers “surplus” retirement contributions back to the USPS that may only be temporary and highly dependent on long-term economic assumptions. The difference is $41 billion, which would have to come from somewhere. In other words, a “bailout.”
The Violence Against Women Act
Deceptively named in order to continue the false liberal meme of the “war on women,” the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for reauthorization. Originally signed in 1994, VAWA made domestic abuse – which had thereunto been handled by state and local governments – a federal crime. The language in the VAWA reauthorization expands domestic abuse protections to homosexual men, transgendered individuals, and prisoners.
The law also broadens the definition of domestic violence to include causing “emotional distress” or using “unpleasant speech.” This expansive and vague language will increase fraud and false allegations, for which there is no legal recourse. By contrast, women (or under this proposal, homosexual men and transgendered individuals) receive free legal counsel even if there’s no evidence of injury or harm.
Despite a lack of scientific evidence supporting the program’s effectiveness, VAWA is expected to pass the Senate with bipartisan support. Why? It has a catchy name and anyone who votes against it will be branded as anti-woman by the political strategists on the Left.