Home / General / Republicans to American Workers: “Drop Dead”

Republicans to American Workers: “Drop Dead”



Above: The Republican Workplace Safety Plan

The Republican Party’s ideology toward the American working class is crystal clear, not that they have tried to hide it.

President Trump and congressional Republicans are poised to roll back a series of Obama-era worker safety regulations targeted by business groups, beginning Monday night with a vote by the Senate to kill a rule that required federal contractors to disclose and correct serious safety violations.

In a narrow result that divided along party lines, the Senate voted 49 to 48 to eliminate the regulation, dubbed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. Finalized in August and blocked by a court order in October, the rule would limit the ability of companies with recent safety problems to complete for government contracts unless they agreed to remedies.

The measure to abolish it had already cleared the House. The next step after the Senate vote will be the White House, where Trump is expected to sign it.

A half-dozen other worker safety regulations are in Republican crosshairs, with one headed to the Senate floor as soon as this week. Many are directed at companies with federal contracts. Such companies employ 1 in 5 American workers — meaning the effort could have wide-ranging effects.

“This is the opening salvo of the Republican’s war on workers,” said Deborah Berkowitz, a senior policy adviser at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when many of the regulations were crafted. “It sends a signal that Congress and the administration is listening to big business and their lobbyists and they are not standing up for the interests of the American workers.”

But hey, Muslims are scary, Obama was born in Kenya, and Trump makes me feel good as a white, so I’m super happy he is going to make it more likely I die at work!

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  • West of the Cascades

    but her emails …

  • N__B

    In case anyone is wondering, those are the bodies of women who had jumped to escape the Triangle fire.

    • Mike G

      GOP: Who’s paying for those cops’ time to remove the bodies? I hope their families are being billed for this instead of the ‘Murkan taxpayer.

  • keta

    According to the link this is just the beginning of regulation rollbacks via the “Congressional Review Act.”

    After Trump’s election, the Chamber and other business groups added the rule to wish lists for regulations they wanted to see eliminated. Republican lawmakers quickly identified a tool to assist in those efforts — the rarely used Congressional Review Act (CRA), approved in 1996.
    The CRA allows Congress to roll back recently enacted regulations by a simple majority vote. Once a rule is killed, it is killed forever. No future administration can pass a substantially similar measure unless Congress is persuaded to pass a law instead — a far more difficult task.
    Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) are leading the charge to kill Labor Department regulations using the CRA. In addition to the effort to eliminate the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces regulation — called the “blacklisting” rule by the Chamber and many Republican lawmakers — Byrne introduced a measure to quash a regulation called the Volks rule.
    Adopted in January, the rule responds to a 2012 D.C. Court of Appeals decision — Volks Constructors v. Secretary of Labor — that limited OSHA’s power to issue citations for record-keeping violations older than six months. The new rule gives OSHA authority to issue citations and levy fines against companies for failure to record illnesses, injuries and deaths that date back as far as five years. Last week, the House voted to kill the Volks rule. If the measure clears the Senate, Trump is expected to sign it.
    Byrne said he does not think OSHA needs the Volks rule. “If you are determined to be a bad actor, you’ll be a bad actor,” he said. “I don’t think this is going to encourage noncompliance. I think that OSHA is being lazy on getting its investigations done.”
    Byrne also called the rule “an overreach,” saying the changes should have been made in law, not through regulation.
    Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) is leading efforts to block the rule-killing measures. He argues that Byrne’s measure to kill the Volks rule “will block OSHA’s enforcement efforts and create a safe harbor for those employers who deliberately underreport.”
    OSHA says staffing levels permit investigators to visit an American business roughly once every 140 years, unless a serious violation is reported.

    • Congressional Review Act measures are quickly becoming the only thing the Republicans can get through Congress. I’d never even heard of the damn things until two months ago…

      • keta

        Looks like everyone will know about the CRA soon enough.

        Wikipedia says “Congress has a window of time lasting 60 legislative days (i.e., days that the U.S. Congress is actually in session, rather than calendar days) to disapprove of any given rule; otherwise the rule will go into effect at the end of this period.[4]” In other words, the CRA can be used to nuke a rule within that time frame.

        BUT, reading a bit further down, under “New Implications”:

        One previously under appreciated provision of the CRA is its stipulation that rules do not go into effect until after they have been submitted to Congress. Since many rules over the last 20 years have never been submitted to Congress, some legal scholars have proposed that these rules are not actually in effect and may still be eligible to be overturned, even if they were passed many years ago. This could come about in one of three different ways: (1) a rule could be submitted to Congress now by the Trump administration and then repealed by a joint resolution under the CRA, (2) the Trump administration could publish notice that a rule not in effect is being withdrawn or abandoned, or (3) a rule could be thrown out by a court on the grounds that it was never in effect.[5][10]

        This leaves me confused. If a rule has NOT been submitted to Congress then it has NOT been enacted, correct? So why overturn something that’s not in use?

        Or have some rules been in use without being submitted to Congress? (which I thought was impossible.)

        Anyone have any insight?

  • Rob in CT

    [Old Man Yells At Clouds]

    I really wish we could get away from using “war on X.” Both sides of the political divide use it, and it sucks.


    • LosGatosCA

      Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war!

      It’s a long, proud, blood thirsty tradition.

  • Well, Trump said he was going to bring back jobs, but he never specified safe jobs. He’s just doing what he said he would do, right?

    • Gregor Sansa

      He’s doing the Dickens out of what he said he was going to do, yes.

      • Warren Terra

        Maybe if he brings back coal we can employ urchins as chimney sweeps!

        • N__B

          urchins as chimney sweeps!

          The spikes point in all directions, which is good, but I doubt they’d pick up much dirt. A cat tied to a stick would probably be a lot more effective.

        • BigHank53

          To bring back coal Trump’s going to need to figure out how to repeal the Marcellus Shale. Bit of a heavy lift even for the GOP.

          • Actually, he needs to look no further than the coal-black hearts of himself and his Republican enablers.

      • Great Expectations lead to dying in a factory fire.

    • wengler

      A novel new way of creating job openings!

    • Mike G

      Shorter GOP: Workplace deaths open up job opportunities.

  • leftwingfox

    GOP goal for the United States: Bangladesh, but White and Christian.

    • Derelict

      It will certainly encourage more prayer!

      “God, please let me live through this shift without being killed or maimed!”

      “God, please let my daddy return home from work tonight in one piece and not in a box! And, please God, don’t let my mother die while giving birth to my 5th brother! The other 9 of us can’t make it without her!”

      • mds

        “God, please let me and my daddy return home from work tonight in one piece and not in a box! …”

        DeVos’ed that up a bit for you, there.

      • e.a.foster

        some of them may not pray but come up with the thought of: I’m going to get my gun and kill the SOB that did this to my parents and family.

  • wengler

    Welp, the only good thing is that many of the rules they have gone after are the ones that were never enacted, thus allowing us to maintain ourselves within the same cesspool of toxic waste we’ve always known.

  • DrDick

    Compassionate conservatism in action!

  • Tancred

    What is so interesting about this is that I have had many conservatives tell me that government safety regulations were one of the reasons why we no longer need unions. I mean, politicians would never try to roll back these regulations, right? Right?

  • LosGatosCA

    A carbon unit is only worth the marginal profit it can generate for a corporation.

    When a carbon unit can no longer generate a profit it’s useless.

    Carbon units should be self sustaining and when they aren’t they should be disposed of.

  • e.a.foster

    They voted for him, now they can die because of him.

    it is so weird that a political party which isn’t in favour of health care for its citizens isn’t interested in providing them with a safe and healthy work environment either. With Trump and his trumpeters wanting to deport workers who do they think is going to do the dangerous work? This will not end well, for workers. it will however end well for corporations which won’t have to spend so much money on worker safety.

    You do have to wonder what is wrong with the American school system that people would vote for a party which will deprive them of their health care and a safe working environment. Guess they don’t teach critical thinking or try to develop it in American schools.

    • Redwood Rhiadra

      Guess they don’t teach critical thinking or try to develop it in American schools.

      Critical thinking is literally college-level material. (Or at least the college-prep track in high school.)

      (In case you were curious, it was English 103 at the college I went to.)

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