The PRO Act may not pass Senate, but Democrats are cramming parts of it into ‘Build Back Better’ Act, which has a chance

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Conservatives who thought the anti-business, anti-freedom PRO Act was dead in the Senate are now seeing it rise from the grave inside the Build Back Better Act, a massive spending and taxation plan that President Joe Biden is championing, which would remake America into a socialist nation.

The PRO Act, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, would undermine worker rights, ensnare employers in unrelated labor disputes, disrupt the economy, and force Americans to pay union dues.

At least one element of the PRO Act that has made its way into Build Back Better. It’s the new civil penalties to be levied on employers who commit — intentionally or unintentionally — something the government deems an unfair labor practice, any infraction that the National Labor Relations Board might consider fine-worthy.

The suggested fines are enormous for businesses of any size — between $50,000 and $100,000 per offense, enough to scare the mom-and-pop employers in Alaska who don’t have the ability to hire lawyers to protect them.

According to George Washington University Economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, imposing new civil penalties would end up losing revenue for the federal government because some companies would move operations offshore, while others would hire fewer U.S.-based workers and avoid expansion to remain under the radar of fine-happy regulators. That would lead to an erosion of revenues for the U.S. Treasury.

The proponents of the measure say it will increase the tax base, but Furchtgott-Roth says that’s a false assumption.

The reduced economic activity and commensurate decline in tax revenues would surpass the $88 million the Congressional Budget Office estimates over 10 years of revenue generated from increased civil penalties for unfair labor practices.

The provision would also disadvantage small businesses, which typically make more unintentional errors because they do not have the human resources departments or the legal expertise of larger corporations.

If, for instance, an employer makes a mistake in an employee handbook, or even tells employees not to use certain language on the job site, that could bring heat from the National Labor Relations Board, according to Furchtgott-Roth, former deputy assistant secretary for Research and Technology a the U.S. Department of Transportation and an adjunct professor of economics at George Washington University.

Another aspect now inserted into the Build Back Better Act is an outright gift to labor unions. In the section, a purchase of an electric car from a company like Honda, which is headquartered offshore, would earn the buyer a $7,500 tax credit. But if that person buys an electric vehicle from GM or Ford, that tax credit will go up to $12,500. GM and Ford are unionized, while Honda and other foreign-based auto firms, including Mercedes, are not, even though they have much of their manufacturing done in the United States, particularly in the South, where much of the auto manufacturing jobs are.

According to the National Right to Work Committee, the success of BMW’s factory located in Right to Work South Carolina, illustrates how states with laws prohibiting compulsory union dues and fees dominate U.S. auto production today.

BMW’s South Carolina plant produces roughly 400,000 vehicles annually, with more than two-thirds of the vehicles being exported to China, Germany, and other countries.

Read more about Right-to-Work and auto manufacturing here.

Some 72 percent of U.S. auto manufacturing in America is concentrated in right-to-work states. The Build Back Better Act provision awarding uneven tax credits is a sanction on those manufacturers.

17 COMMENTS

  1. So sad PRO and BBB brag about making loads of money from fines and more taxes. Taking from the productive and giving it to the unproductive. Poverty, Ruin and Oppression is more honest.

  2. If a mid-level federal bureaucrat, about a GS-12 or 13 usually, with a regional National Labor Relations Board office concludes that there is probable cause that your business has engaged in an unfair labor practice, it is likely to be a several million dollars trip to the US Supreme Court to prove you didn’t.

    Your adversary won’t be the union or the complaining employee, which wouldn’t really be a fair fight because the union likely has far more resources than your company, but rather the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board and its staff of hundreds of lawyers and the resources of the USDOJ as well.

    You won’t have any allies because all the unionized companies in the US do so much business with government that they won’t dare challenge the NLRB. Look at the Boeing case regarding their South Carolina plant. Fifty or sixty years ago, every large industry in America would have intervened or appeared as amici in support of Boeing in what was clearly just a union/Democrat shakedown attempt. Boeing had to deal with that all alone, and you can be certain that somebody working for Comrade Obama called the Boeing CEO and said something like, “nice company you have there; be a shame if something bad happened to it.” Boeing sheathed their sword.

  3. I’m stunned, almost speechless. that the democrats would have the chutzpah to even float this anti-America piece of shameless commie power-grabbing sewage. If Congress isn’t VERY specific about what they mean by “unfair labor practice” and limit the unaccountable NLRB’s ability to expand what is fine-able we are doomed. That property in Costa Rica is starting to look even more attractive… Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act are already enforced by the NLRB – and the ‘rats want to expand this?!!!

  4. Not to pick at scabs….”The Dean of Congress” Don Young proudly voted for the PRO Act.
    At this rate Don rates a 3 maybe 4 slot on Rank Choice Voting Ballot.
    It’s Time Alaska. Vote your conscience. Don’t settle for the lesser of two evils.

  5. At some point dems you might want to acquaint yourself with our guaranteed from of government a friendly confederate Republic and our US Constitution.

  6. Why does the chamber of commerce state such a threat to employees without providing one single example? I see Suzanne copied their canned statement on the PRO act, but not one example is given of what the threat to employees would be. And not surprising, since the Act is intended to protect employees from bad employers like Amazon. Hardly a concern for mom and pop employers in Alaska who don’t treat their employees like dirt. It’s too bad the reporting here is so lazy.

    • Too bad your reading comprehension skills are so inadequate. Suzanne does pick up the CoC line about the PRO act but goes on to say that while it is likely dead, some of it has found its way into the Build Back Broke, excuse me, Better Act, particularly the civil fines for unfair labor practices.

      Even in Republican administrations the NLRB is very pro-union because its career staff are Democrat-leaning federal employees. In a Republican administration the limited number of appointees can only minimally rein in the career employees. In a communist, excuse me, Democrat administration, the NLRB is just an arm of the unions.

      The National Labor Relations Act or Labor Management Relations Act, depending on whether you’re a union hand or an employer, articulates prohibited acts by both unions and employers. The NLRB can provide all sorts of remedies from status quo ante orders to bargaining orders and all sorts of technical remedies. They can also order fines, but they’re relatively low and aimed at individuals responsible for bad acts, not at either the union or the employer as institutions.

      This piece of the PRO Act establishes large fines aimed at the union or employer as institutions, not that the fines are ever likely to be imposed on a union. This is the set-up for the union/Democrat shakedown scheme. Some career investigator for the NLRB investigates a union allegation that the employer has committed an unfair labor practice (ULP). He concludes that there is probable cause to conclude that the employer did engage in a ULP. The NLRB standard for a probable cause finding is if the facts as asserted by the complainant constitute an unfair labor practice, there is a probable cause finding. There is no consideration of any defense that the respondent might be able to offer.

      There are some administrative steps in between but the ultimate result is a hearing before the Board and a finding and determination as to whether a ULP was committed and what would be the appropriate remedy, which could include a substantial fine. Somewhere between the probable cause finding and the issuance of a decision, the NLRB will offer the employer a consent decree offering the employer the opportunity to just walk away without a finding of guilt if they’ll just pay some people, all union/Democrats or allies, a lot of money. This has been Jesse Jackson and many other poverty pimps and race hustlers’ stock in trade for decades. The unions and the plaintiffs bar used it for billions in payoffs over FLSA overtime claims for public employees during the Clinton Administration. If the taxpayers realized how much they were taken for in the Nineties, there’d be union reps and USDOL employees hanging from lampposts. Now they’re trying for a new revenue source.

    • If there is honestly anything about the pro act that is good and will actually help anyone other than the unions who will just take your dues and hurt small businesses please spell it out.

  7. The fact the Build Back Broke Bill is still alive is due to the following RINOS.

    Here are the 14 Republicans who voted on the motion to invoke cloture which would allow the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling with no upper limit (blank check):

    Mitch McConnell (KY)
    John Barrasso (WY)
    Roy Blunt (MO)
    Richard Burr (NC)
    Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
    Susan Collins (ME)
    John Cornyn (TX)
    Joni Ernst (IA)
    Lisa Murkowski (AL)
    Rob Portman (OH)
    Mitt Romney (UT)
    Thom Tillis (NC)
    John Thune (SD)
    Roger Wicker (MS)

    The Senate later Thursday afternoon passed the debt ceiling provision in a 59-35 vote.

    The legislation will head to Joe Biden’s desk for a signature.

    Here are the Republicans who voted “yea” on the provision:

    Barrasso (WY)
    Blunt (MO)
    Capito (WV)
    Collins (ME)
    McConnell (KY)
    Murkowski (AK)
    Portman (OH)
    Romney (UT)
    Thune (SD)
    Tillis (NC)

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