A congressional scorecard reviewed every representative and senator Tuesday based on how they voted when it comes to several recent workplace related issues.
The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), a conservative advocacy group, has dedicated itself to educating workers and employers about issues impacting them. The group released its scorecard in an effort to highlight how current lawmakers have voted on key policy proposals.
The WFI website displays the scorecard as a map of the United States. Each state unveils its representatives and senators upon being clicked. The lawmakers listed are rated based on whether they support policies like the Employee Rights Act and the National Right-To-Work Act.
WFI’s Heather Greenaway argues that over the last decade policies have consistently undermined worker freedom and workplace fairness. President Barack Obama oversaw an administration that tried to bolster unions to better protect workers. Critics contest the approach actually helped unions at the expense of workers.
“We created this scorecard as an effort to clean up the mess from the last decade, as well as talk about measures to protect workers and businesses from future undue government interference,” Greenaway told InsideSources. “It’s upon our elected officials to stop or rollback these bad policies while also fostering a regulatory environment in which workers and businesses can thrive and be protected in the future.”
Greenaway adds that the scorecard can help workers and businesses review their elected officials based on which bills they cosponsored and voted for. She also notes that it will help those voters hold their elected officials accountable based on their stance on those key issues.
“These issues affect people; they affect workers,” Greenaway said. “We hope this scorecard will be a reminder that there are folks that care about these issues, and they do affect workers and the business community at large. And pro-worker policies are needed.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, for instance, is rated poorly for not voting on issues like blocking what is known as the blacklisting rule. Sanders is an independent who ran in the Democratic primaries as a democratic-socialist. He was also given a negative mark for not voting to confirm Alexander Acosta as labor secretary.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn received relatively good marks on his scorecard. He voted in favor of issues like overturning the Volks rule which put additional requirements on how employers track workplace injuries and illnesses. Critics argue the regulation were a clear overreach. Cornyn also voted in favor of confirming Acosta.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee handles legislation that impacts workers. HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander, a Republican, received positive marks for his votes. Ranking Member Patty Murray, a Democrat, did not.
President Donald Trump has made economic growth a primary focus of his administration. He has had a particular focus on helping working class voters. Trump won in large part by appealing to those voters who felt left behind as the economy started to improve in the decade since the last recession.
Republicans are in an opportune position to pursue the economic and labor issues they support. They gained the presidency while maintaining congressional control in the election last year. Infighting has proven to be problematic. They haven’t achieved any major legislative victories yet, but there has been a significant rollback of regulations.
“The goal of the scorecard is to encourage the advancement of legislation to actual floor votes in order to reverse or fix the harmful policies,” Greenaway said. “[It] also advocates for proactive legislation that will protect workers in the future, such as the Employee Rights Act and National Right-To-Work Act.”
The Employee Rights Act helps employees shield their personal information and workplace vote from unions. Republicans and other supporters argue the bill would enhance worker rights by protecting workers from potential intimidation tactics. Those opposed argue the provisions are an underhanded attempt to weaken unions.
The blacklisting rule blocks companies with labor violation complaints from getting federal contracts. The Obama administration enacted the policy to better protect workers. Republicans countered the rule put an unnecessary burden on federal contractors while giving unions leverage over them. Trump signed a bill ending the rule early in his presidency.
Editor’s Note: The article incorrectly made reference to the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The scorecard actually reviewed an employment record keeping policy known as the Volks rule. This has been corrected.