After months of speculation, the House of Representatives on Tuesday narrowly approved a resolution allowing congressional staff to collectively bargain.
The resolution, H.R. 1096, was introduced by Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) and adopted along party lines. In a statement following the vote, Levin celebrated how congressional Democrats “upheld our values of believing in the collective voice today.”
Indeed, the obvious inconsistency of advocating for the universal unionization of both government and the private sector while failing to extend collective bargaining privileges to their own staff left House Democrats vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy from both the right and left.
Even passage of Levin’s resolution, however, won’t resolve the tension.
The framework for congressional staff to collectively bargain was actually created when the newly Republican Congress passed the Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) in 1995, requiring Congress to follow the same labor laws as the rest of the country, as part of the GOP’s “Contract with America.”
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