Predictably, the Republicans have voted down an amendment aimed at curbing wage theft. The amendment itself was fairly toothless — it would’ve discouraged government contracts with companies that practice wage theft — but even a toothless amendment like that is seen as a threat by the seigneurs and neo-aristocracy, and so their lapdog Republicans quickly killed it.
The bill, which was Democrat-sponsored, was presented early Friday morning and shot down early Friday morning. According to the Huffington Post:
[box type=”shadow”]The Democratic-sponsored amendment to a funding bill would have denied taxpayer money to firms with documented wage violations while under government contract. The idea, championed by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was to make sure public dollars don’t go to companies with low-road labor practices.
The amendment, proposed for the commerce, justice and science appropriations bill, failed by a vote of 196-211. All Democrats who cast votes supported it, while 10 Republicans crossed the aisle to join them.[/box]
From the House floor, Senator Frank Wolf (R-Va.) warned his colleges that “no one knows what the amendment does” and urged his fellow senators to vote the amendment down out of caution.
[box type=”shadow”]On the House floor before the vote, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the subcommittee handling the bill, suggested he was surprised by the amendment’s introduction late Thursday and urged his colleagues to vote it down out of caution.
“No one knows what the amendment does. If you know what this amendment does, you should vote for it, because nobody else seems to know. That’s one of the problems [that] these things come rolling in at 10:15,” Wolf said. “I don’t know what it does, so I don’t want to vote for it. I strongly urge, in the interest of making sure that this place does not mess up, a no vote.”[/box]
Apparently Senator Wolf isn’t familiar with the concept of basic literacy. It isn’t like he couldn’t have had someone else read it to him. Representative Keith Ellison’s office released a memo shortly after the vote, reading in full:
May 30, 2014
WASHINGTON—Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after House Republicans voted down an amendment introduced by the CPC to disqualify certain federal contracts to any corporation that committed wage theft or other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Contractors pocket taxpayer money and then commit wage theft by denying workers overtime pay or forcing them to work off the clock. A recent National Employment Law Project (NELP) survey found that 21 percent of federal contract workers surveyed were not paid overtime and 11% have been forced to work ‘off the clock.’ The federal government could lead the way by disqualifying contractors who practice wage theft, but House Republicans voted today against an amendment to do exactly that.
“The failure of this amendment illustrates who Republicans defend. Speaker Boehner refuses to allow a vote to raise the federal minimum wage or renew unemployment insurance. House Republicans have focused relentlessly on taking away affordable health care and investigating Benghazi because they believe that is how they will win November. Unfortunately, working families have been left out of the Republican political strategy.
“Taxpayer money must be spent wisely. As the largest purchaser of goods and services in the nation, the federal government must find a way to make sure funds are going to companies that treat their workers fairly and give American families a chance to succeed.”[/box]
That’s the issue, though. The Republicans don’t see anything that helps the nation, or the people in it, as a wise expenditure of taxpayer funds. Instead, they’d rather help those companies that practice wage theft. It’s often said that the Republicans want less government for the same reason criminals want fewer police. This is just more proof.
You can watch the video below:
h/t Crooks and Liars