Published 01 Aug, 2011
Everyone’s attention will be tuned to the deal reached to extend the nation’s debt ceiling this week. After several weeks of partisan stand-offs and failed attempts at compromise, President Obama and leaders from both parties have agreed to a plan that will get America through the 2012 elections before having to approach the topic again.
Among other contingencies, the plan will create a bipartisan committee tasked with identifying even more cuts, with a report due by Thanksgiving. Although this aspect of the agreement was apparently necessary to gain both parties’ approval, it will allow for the debt ceiling issue to dominate the conversation in Washington when what is so sorely needed is a jobs solution.
In the short-term, members of Congress cannot say their work is done before heading back to their districts for the August recess, which is scheduled to begin next week. The Senate has a number of lingering confirmations to attend to. There is also the looming issue of the partial FAA shutdown, which has left 4,000 federal employees furloughed, and brought $1.5 billion in airport projects to a screeching halt. The TWU and our friends have been calling on both chambers to pass a clean 21st extension, but Democratic leaders may have to undertake some political maneuvering to get those FAA and construction workers back on the job.
In addition, H.R. 2587, introduced by Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), may come to the House floor for a vote this week. A knee-jerk reaction to the National Labor Relations Board’s proceedings aginast the Boeing Company, H.R. 2587 would repeal the NLRB’s ability to order companies back to a plant or even back to the US if they moved or stopped work in retaliation of protected labor activity. Dubbed “the outsourcers’ bill of rights,” HR 2587 is unlikely to earn any traction in the Senate.