Republicans Vote in Favor of Union Giveaways

Last week, the Competitive Enterprise Institute sent out a Key Vote alert on two amendments. Both were designed to save taxpayers money by ending policies that benefit unions at the expense of fiscal responsibility and common sense. Normally, most would expect Republicans would support such measures, especially since labor unions are primarily donors to the Democratic party. Unfortunately, nearly 50 GOP members voted against both amendments.

The two amendments were part of H.R. 2029 — “Making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and other purposes.”

One amendment was offered by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), which would have ended the practice union official time, which eliminates the practice of taxpayers paying for workers’ time spent on union business rather than official U.S. government work, at the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Considering the VA scandals and mismanagement at the the agency, all VA employees should be conducting official government work, not union business. Further, VA employees conducting union business during work time is a big problem at the agency charged with caring for American veterans. In FY 2012, 259 VA employees worked exclusively for their union instead of working for the taxpayer and the total cost of official time at the VA was more than $45 million.

The second amendment that would put tax dollars to better use was authored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and would prohibit Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements for projects funded by the bill.

The Davis-Bacon Act increases government construction costs by requiring contractors to pay prevailing wages on federally funded projects instead of market wages and is one of the last remaining relics of Jim Crow laws.

“Organizations could hire approximately 20% more workers by paying market wages and CBO estimated Davis-Bacon raises federal construction costs by $15.7 billion over 10 years.”

Simply, the two amendments intent was to end special interest giveaways and require tax dollars to be for the public good. Unfortunately, the below Republicans voted in favor of supporting the private interests of labor unions instead of the American public.

49 Republicans voted against Rep. Hice’s (R-Ga.) amendment to eliminate official time at the VA, including:

  1. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.);
  2. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.);
  3. Rob Bishop (R-Utah);
  4. Mike Bost (R-Ill.);
  5. Tom Cole (R-Okla.);
  6. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.);
  7. Paul Cook (R-Calif.);
  8. Ryan Costello (R-Penn.);
  9. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.);
  10. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.);
  11. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.);
  12. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.);
  13. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.);
  14. Robert Dold (R-Ill.);
  15. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.);
  16. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.);
  17. Sam Graves (R-Mo.);
  18. Brent Guthrie (R-Ky.);
  19. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.);
  20. Denny Heck (R-Nev.);
  21. Lynn Jenkins (R-W.V.);
  22. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio);
  23. David Jolly (R-Fla.);
  24. David Joyce (R-Ohio);
  25. John Katko (R-N.Y.);
  26. Mike Kelly (R-Penn.);
  27. Pete King (R-N.Y.);
  28. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.);
  29. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.);
  30. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.);
  31. Thomas Marino (R-Penn.);
  32. David McKinley (R-W.V.);
  33. Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.);
  34. Tim Murphy (R-Penn.);
  35. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.);
  36. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.);
  37. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio);
  38. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.);
  39. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.);
  40. Austin Scott (R-Ga.);
  41. Bill Shuster (R-Penn.);
  42. Chris Smith (R-N.J.);
  43. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.);
  44. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio);
  45. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio);
  46. Michael Turner (R-Ohio);
  47. David Valadao (R-Calif.);
  48. Don Young (R-Alaska); and
  49. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.)

52 Republicans voted against Rep. King’s (R-Iowa) amendment to prohibit Davis-Bacon provisions, including:

  1. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.);
  2. Mike Bost (R-Ill.);
  3. Paul Cook (R-Calif.);
  4. Ryan Costello (R-Penn.);
  5. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.);
  6. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.);
  7. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.);
  8. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.);
  9. Robert Dold (R-Ill.);
  10. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.);
  11. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.);
  12. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.);
  13. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.);
  14. Sam Graves (R-Mo.);
  15. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.);
  16. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.);
  17. Denny Heck (R-Nev);
  18. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.);
  19. Lynn Jenkins (R-W.V.);
  20. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio);
  21. David Jolly (R-Fla.);
  22. David Joyce (R-Ohio);
  23. John Katko (R-N.Y.);
  24. Mike Kelly (R-Penn);
  25. Pete King (R-N.Y.);
  26. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.);
  27. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.);
  28. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.);
  29. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.);
  30. David McKinley (R-W.V.);
  31. Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.);
  32. Tim Murphy (R-Penn.);
  33. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.);
  34. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.);
  35. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio);
  36. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla);
  37. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.);
  38. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.);
  39. John Shimkus (R-Ill.);
  40. Bill Shuster (R-Ill.);
  41. Chris Smith (R-N.J.);
  42. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.);
  43. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio);
  44. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio);
  45. Michael Turner (R-Ohio);
  46. Fred Upton (R-Mich.);
  47. David Valadao (R-Calif.);
  48. Greg Walden (R-Ore.);
  49. Don Young (R-Alaska);
  50. Todd Young (R-Ind.);
  51. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.); and
  52. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.)