While Congress passed authorizing resolutions for most regulations, including those providing protection to Capitol Police and Capitol Architect workers under the National Labor Relations Act, the House only passed one resolution covers employees last year other the Senate has not acted yet. The House GOP then tried to ring that bell in January.
As Mulshine noted in the report, the Constitution gives clear authority to each house of Congress to make its own rules. But, she argues, it’s not clear what House Republicans were trying to do about unions in their rule resolution. First, the 1995 law establishes a process for amending or suspending OCWR regulations that was not followed.
Second, the rule subsection in question makes no mention of unions, is titled “restoration of legislature’s accountability,” and to “terminate the rights granted to federally employed employees, the House must do so in clear language and unequivocal,” the report says. argued Mulshine also argues that the House cannot unilaterally suspend regulations promulgated by an independent office like OCWR, noting that analogous precedent of the Supreme Court.
But even if he didn’t buy any of those arguments, Mulshine said, the GOP’s package of rules still doesn’t block staff unions. This is because all it intends to do is suspend the OCWR regulations adopted pursuant to last year’s authorizing resolution, but the OCWR has produced many other union regulations over the years. In effect, last year’s resolution opened the barn door, allowing the possibility for staff unions to bolt; The GOP rules package may now close that barn door, but that doesn’t lock out union horses again.
The Congressional Workers Union, which has led the charge of organizing offices in Congress, agreed with Demand Progress that the House rules had no impact on their efforts.