Chairman Issa's First Six Months: Support For Corporate Donors, Not The Middle Class

June 30, 2011 8:03 am ET

In his first six months as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has done the work of his corporate donors while ignoring the needs of middle-class Americans. Issa has repeatedly used committee resources to promote his major donors, often calling them to testify in hearings. Following the 2010 election, he asked trade associations, companies, and right-wing think tanks to "tell him which Obama administration regulations to target," then used the letters he received in response as the centerpiece of a hearing he said was intended to "validate" the concerns of Big Business so that other committees could push for deregulation. He has attacked the National Labor Relations Board for trying to protect workers, refused to subpoena documents for banks related to illegal foreclosures, and submitted a bill to kill government jobs.

Issa Has Repeatedly Used Committee Resources To Promote Major Campaign Contributors

Issa Staffers Have "Close Connections" To Industries That Could Benefit From His Investigations

Issa Asked Big Business To "Tell Him Which Obama Administration Regulations To Target"

Issa Has Refused To Support Cummings' Investigation Of Big Banks' Foreclosure Abuse

Issa Attacked National Labor Relations Board For Protecting Workers

Issa And His Subcommittee Chairs Introduced Bill To Kill Jobs


Issa Has Repeatedly Used Committee Resources To Promote Major Campaign Contributors

Washington Post: Watchdogs Criticized Practice Of Calling Donors To Testify. The Washington Post reported of the practice of committee chairs calling donors to testify, "watchdogs say it raises the question of whether expert panels are assembled based on their donations." [Washington Post3/16/11]

Issa Called Tom Nassif, President And CEO Of Western Growers Association, To Testify On Regulation. [Oversight.House.gov, 2/10/11]

  • Nassif Has Donated $13,800 To Issa's Campaigns. From the Washington Post: "Nassif had given $4,800 to [Issa's] 2010 campaign and a total of $13,800 over the past two decades." [Washington Post3/16/11]
  • Western Growers Association's PAC Has Donated $7,000 To Issa's Campaigns. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 5/20/11]
  • Issa Did Not Mention Donations In Purporting To Give "Full Disclosure" Of His Ties To Nassif. During the February 10 hearing on regulation, Issa said:

ISSA: Before I introduce or ask Mr. Nassif to speak, I think full disclosure — Ambassador Nassif is the deacon in my church. He was the ambassador to Morocco and he is, in fact, a personal friend. So I hope that won't diminish the 70 percent of fresh fruit and vegetables that he represents and the thousands of growers. [Oversight Committee hearing, 2/10/11, via Political Correction]

  • Issa Spokesman Defended Nassif's Participation In Hearing. From the Washington Post:

Issa spokesman Frederick Hill noted that agriculture is one of the largest industries in California and, therefore, Nassif was an important part of the hearing on "Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation."

"Mr. Issa certainly thought that [Nassif's] testimony was both important and relevant to the hearing taking place," Hill said. Nassif did not respond to a message seeking comment. [Washington Post3/16/11]

  • Issa Subsequently Called Nassif To Testify For A Second Oversight Hearing. [House.Oversight.gov, 4/19/11]

Issa Called Jack Buschur, Owner Of Buschur Electric, To Testify On Regulation. [Oversight.House.gov, 2/10/11]

  • Buschur Donated $20,450 To Republican Candidates For Ohio Federal And State Office In 2010. [Political Correction5/12/11]
  • Oversight Committee Producing Three-Part Web Video Series On Buschur's Business. [House.Oversight.gov, 5/9/11]

Issa Called Executive From Google To Testify On Overregulation Of Tech Industry. [Oversight.House.gov, 4/18/11]

  • Google's PAC Donated $6,000 To Issa's 2010 Campaign. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 5/20/11]

Issa Called Executive Microsoft To Testify On Overregulation Of Tech Industry. [Oversight.House.gov, 4/18/11]

  • Microsoft's PAC Gave Issa $9,000 In 2010, $36,000 For His Career. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 5/20/11]

Issa Called CEO From California Independent Petroleum Association For Fracking Regulation Hearing. [House.Oversight.gov, 5/6/11]

  • CIPA's PAC Donated $2,500 To Issa's 2010 Campaign. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 5/20/11]

Issa Staffers Have "Close Connections" To Industries That Could Benefit From His Investigations

Watchdog Institute: Several Issa Committee Staffers Worked As Lobbyists Or For Trade Associations. From the Watchdog Institute:

Issa's staff already has released findings sympathetic to industries bent on softening or eliminating certain government regulations. A preliminary report this month, for example, focused largely on Environmental Protection Agency standards and relied heavily on input from industry associations. Other standards the committee is targeting include new regulations on workplace safety and the financial services industry.

And some on Issa's staff know this territory from the inside.

Several have ties to billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who have made much of their fortune in oil and chemical businesses and have established a reputation as staunch small-government conservatives. Their influence through campaign contributions, lobbying and nonprofit groups — such as Americans for Prosperity, an activist organization with connections to the Tea Party movement — has become more pronounced since the shift in power in the House last November.

A Republican staff counsel for the oversight committee is the son of a lobbyist pushing for regulatory changes on behalf of big corporations. At least four other staffers once lobbied Congress for companies and industry associations. Another counsel worked for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which Issa recently asked for input on government regulations. [Watchdog Institute, 2/28/11]

Issa Asked Big Business To "Tell Him Which Obama Administration Regulations To Target"

In Letter To "More Than 150 Trade Associations, Companies And Think Tanks," Issa Asked For List Of Regulations That "Would Harm Job Growth." On January 3, Politico reported:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants the oil industry, drug manufacturers and other trade groups and companies to tell him which Obama administration regulations to target this year.

The incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - in letters sent to more than 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks last month - requested a list of existing and proposed regulations that would harm job growth. [Politico, 1/3/11]

Issa: "Suggestions On Reforming Identified Regulations And The Rulemaking Process Would Be Appreciated." From the Politico article:

"As a trade organization with members that must comply with the regulatory state, I ask for your assistance in identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth in your members' industry," Issa wrote in a Dec. 8 letter to NAM [National Association of Manufacturers]. "Additionally, suggestions on reforming identified regulations and the rulemaking process would be appreciated."

The letter to NAM is a template for ones Issa sent other groups over the course of last month. In the NAM letter, Issa notes that federal agencies in fiscal year 2010 "promulgated 43 new regulations" ranging from new limits on "effluent" discharges from construction sites to rules for Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations. The "effluent" rule, Issa charged, will cost $810.8 million annually, resulting in the closure of 147 construction firms and the loss of 7,257 jobs. [Politico1/3/11]

In Responses, Big Business Highlighted "More Than 150" Regulations To "Roll Back Or Preempt." From a February 7 Washington Post article:

Responding to solicitations from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), businesses have asked Congress to roll back or preempt more than 150 rules governing their industries, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. [...]

The Post reviewed more than 200 letters and reports that businesses sent to Issa targeting regulations across the federal government. The rules under scrutiny include familiar issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, health-care reform and the landmark Wall Street overhaul. But the committee also will examine more obscure regulations. For instance, makers of some cleaning products that remove mold and mildew have asked the committee to reconsider rules that require their products to be registered as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Among those pushing for changes are some of Washington's most powerful interest groups.

The Business Roundtable, a coalition of chief executive officers from major corporations, voiced concern about a swath of requirements, including executive pay disclosures. Smaller interests have also weighed in, such as the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, which flagged a regulation restricting formaldehyde in pressed wood. [Washington Post2/7/11]

Issa's Committee Based Report On Letters, Cited Dangers Of "Unnecessary Regulatory Uncertainty" And "Regulatory Burden" On Businesses. From the Findings of the House Oversight Committee's preliminary report on "Regulatory Impediments To Job Creation":

  • Manufacturing is the industry hit the hardest by regulatory costs, with per firm costs at $688,944 - half a million dollars greater than the national average cost for all industries.
  • Small manufacturers bear a proportionally larger regulatory burden with an estimated cost of $26,316 per employee -  more than double the burden that is faced by larger manufacturers.
  • The significant regulatory burden on American manufacturers complicates their ability to compete with international trade partners.  According to research commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers, "structural costs imposed on U.S. manufacturers including regulation create a 17.6 percent cost disadvantage when compared with nine major industrialized countries."
  • Uncertainty of future regulation chills capital formation and can leave U.S. businesses with less investment capital if the money is diverted to foreign markets. [...]
  • As regulators in the United States may be creating unnecessary regulatory uncertainty, our international competitors are seeking to entice America's potential job creators to set up shop within their borders - taking steps to make their countries more attractive to foreign investors. 
  • In many cases the benefits to society of a new regulation can outweigh these costs.  For example, government-required nutrition labels on food products provide consumers with important information about the products they consume in a uniform format. [...]
  • There is some evidence that regulations affecting the financial services industry may limit the job creation and growth capabilities of U.S., reducing economic growth by as much as 4 percent. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the issuance of nearly 500 rulemakings from a number of federal agencies.
  • Respondents identified over 60 regulatory actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency that could have a negative impact on job creation.  Almost half the respondents identified the following three rules as job killing regulations: Boiler MACT, GHG regulations, and NAAQS for Ozone. [Oversight Committee Preliminary Staff Report, 2/9/11]

Letters Spurred Issa Hearing Seeking To Make Regulations "Friendlier To Business." From the Washington Post:

Responding to solicitations from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), businesses have asked Congress to roll back or preempt more than 150 rules governing their industries, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

In many cases, businesses are seizing the opportunity to reopen regulatory debates that they previously lost. In his new role as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Issa will begin a series of hearings Thursday, an effort aimed at fulfilling the new GOP House majority's goal of making federal regulations friendlier to business. [Washington Post2/7/11]

Issa Said Hearing Would Provide Reagan-esque Focus On Need For Regulations To "Foster Productivity, Not Stifle It." From the February 10 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on "Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation":

ISSA: This is the -- as many people, most people know, the week of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth. So I think it's appropriate that we remind us that regulatory impediments to job creation are not a new phenomenon or a new challenge for America.

To quote Ronald Reagan, "Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it."

There is nothing more important than putting today's hearing in the perspective that what was said more than 30 years ago by Ronald Reagan is true today and we hope to find a way to have regulatory reform, keep America safe while at the same time giving Americans opportunities to get competitive jobs here and in export around the world. [House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, 2/10/11, via Nexis]

Hearings Allowed Corporate Leaders To Rail Against Wide Variety Of Regulations. From a February 10 Associated Press article:

From large manufacturers to a small electric company, businesses complained Thursday about costly government rules at a forum provided by Republicans who are eager to slash federal regulations. Democrats protested that GOP lawmakers only wanted to hear about the burdens of regulation, not the benefits to public health and worker safety.

Witnesses at a House hearing complained about regulations on endangered species, excessive paperwork, anti-pollution standards and much more. Red tape was blamed for denying water to drought-stricken fields, for costing a contractor $10,000 for an unneeded lead inspection and for complicating student loans to minorities. [Associated Press, 2/10/11]

Witnesses Included Heads Of Businesses And Trade Groups And Right-Wing Think Tank Scholars. From the Oversight Committee's materials on the hearing:

Witnesses

Panel I

Jay Timmons
CEO
National Association of Manufacturers

Harry Alford
CEO
Black Chamber of Commerce

Tom Nassif
President and CEO
Western Growers Association

Michael J. Fredrich
President
MCM Composites, LLC

Jack Buschur
President
Buschur Electric 

Panel II

James Gattuso
Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy
The Heritage Foundation

Karen Kerrigan
President
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

Sidney Shapiro
Center for Progressive Reform

Jerry Ellig
Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University 

["Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation," Oversight.House.gov, 2/10/11]

Hearing Intended To "Validate" Business Concerns So Other Committees Can Deregulate. From a February 10 Bloomberg TV interview with Peter Cook, Bloomberg News' Chief Washington Correspondent:

COOK: To be clear, your committee is not going to be in a position to try and legislate changes to these rules. But it's your hope so that other committees will?

ISSA: Absolutely. We're a committee that is listening. We're going to tabulate. We're going to help validate.

But at the end of the day, we're putting this out to other committees to do the regulatory oversight, make the changes necessary.

But it's the first time in a generation, since Ronald Reagan, that there has really been an attempt to say, can't we get regulations working with us rather than on top of us. [Bloomberg TV, 2/10/11, via Nexis]

Issa Has Refused To Support Cummings' Investigation Of Big Banks' Foreclosure Abuse

Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Has Sent Letters To Issa Seeking Subpoenas Of Bank Records Regarding "Illegal Foreclosures, Inflated Fees, And Fraud." In a June 21 letter to Issa, Cummings wrote:

Today marks the six-month anniversary of my first letter to you requesting that the Committee investigate widespread and systemic abuses by mortgage servicing companies, including illegal foreclosures, inflated fees, and fraud against American homeowners.  This is now my fourth letter to you on this subject.

In my previous letter on May 24, 2011, I requested that you issue subpoenas to six mortgage servicing companies that are refusing to provide relevant documents to the Committee.  My previous letters set forth in great detail the specific allegations of abuse committed by mortgage servicing companies and the specific steps I have taken to obtain the information voluntarily.  I have also provided you with copies of the written correspondence from the mortgage servicing companies stating in clear terms that they will not provide the necessary information unless duly authorized subpoenas are issued.  

Given this background, I was surprised when your spokesman stated that, although this is "an issue of clear bipartisan concern," you needed "additional information" to decide on "the most appropriate next step." You have been copied on every letter sent to the mortgage servicing companies and every letter they have sent back to the Committee.  You have not hesitated—in other investigations—to issue subpoenas in a matter of days when your deadlines were missed, so it is unclear why a different standard applies to this investigation.

This same sense of urgency should apply even when the targets of the Committee's investigation are banks.  The foreclosure crisis is affecting millions of Americans across the country, devastating communities, and impairing our nation's economic recovery.  I am also particularly alarmed by increasing reports that U.S. servicemembers and their families have been illegally evicted from their homes and charged millions of dollars in unwarranted fees. For all of these reasons, I am writing again to reiterate my request for subpoenas and to provide additional information that has come to light since my last letter to you on this subject. [Cummings Letter to Issa, 6/21/11, via Democrats.Oversight.House.gov]

Issa Has Denied Cummings' Requests, Blaming Cummings' Staff And "Other Priorities." From Issa's June 21 letter to Cummings:

It is important that you appreciate the seriousness of the deliberations and reliance on accurate information that occurs when considering the issuance of a subpoena. As one example of my concern in considering your request for the issuance of six subpoenas - including one for Bank of America - your May 24, 2011, letter cited Bank of America's failure to respond to your request for information as the justification for that particular subpoena. Shortly after we received your May 24, 2011, letter, however, my staff was contacted by Bank of America, who insisted they had responded to you on March 25, 2011. While I understand there is a question about whether you received Bank of America's response, your staff's failure to even follow-up on a non-response before concluding that a subpoena is necessary raises questions about the thoroughness of these efforts and the information you have so far shared.

Nevertheless, I do not expect this or other possible missteps will ultimately determine whether a subpoena is indeed the prudent next step. Majority staff are working to gather necessary information from their minority counterparts. Please help me help you by ensuring the full cooperation of your staff, without the continued delays that have so far occurred, in this process.

Finally, I would note that this Committee has a number of other priorities that reflect its broad mandate to conduct oversight across the Federal Government. On a number of matters, you and the minority staff have been unwilling to assist the Committee in expediting critical investigations and efforts to address matters before the Committee. This includes the Committee's investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, an oversight effort in which instead of supporting efforts to obtain documents from the Department of Justice about the involvement of high-ranking officials, you have vocally defended their non-compliance with a legally valid subpoena. Your staff has gone even further, by actively and purposefully obstructing the Committee's efforts to obtain information that would provide answers and bring us closer to finishing this investigation. [Issa Letter to Cummings, 6/22/11, via San Diego Times-Union, internal citations removed]

Issa Attacked National Labor Relations Board For Protecting Workers

Issa Held Oversight Hearing To Criticize NLRB Lawsuit Against Boeing

Issa: Decision To Sue Could "Lead To Repercussions In Americans' Competitiveness." From a June 17 Oversight Committee hearing:

Today's hearing is about the effect that NLRB's acting general counsel's decision to bring suit against the Boeing Company is having on thousands of jobs in South Carolina.

It is the fundamental responsibility of the National Labor Relations Board to protect the rights of employees and employers and to prevent practices that will harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.

It is this chair's opinion that on all of these points NLRB action may have failed. The jobs of thousands of workers at what is today a non-union worksite in South Carolina are at risk.

The investment Boeing put into South Carolina facility, valued at more than $1 billion, is now in jeopardy, and production of portions of 835 planes, most of which will be exported, that have already been ordered, is now in jeopardy. Timely delivery is essential, and without this facility it is unlikely commitments will be met.

And finally, Mr. Solomon's decision, which has been described in ways that I'm going to leave out of my opening statement, could in fact lead to repercussions in Americans' competitiveness and in decisions by other businesses to locate in right-to-work states or in fact foreign companies to locate in America at all.

Often when you believe that you're helping one party, you may be hurting the party you intend to help. Seattle's economy, which is very good in aerospace, may be hurt by decisions not to allow new facilities to be put there in the future for fear that they could not be expanded on in the future in other areas.

As an entrepreneur and business owner myself, I know well the decision-making process that goes into decisions about where to locate a plant, warehouse, when to hire employees, and what to invest to grow your company and jobs.

Evidence suggests Boeing's decision to build the new assembly plant in South Carolina was simply an act of managerial discretion and not an effort to discourage employees from engaging in protective activities -- protected activities under the National Labor Relations Act.

If Boeing's actions were lawful and proper and made on the basis of multiple factors and in the best interest of the company, its workers and the people of South Carolina, then why has the NLRB acting general counsel sued them? [House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Hearing Transcript, 6/17/11, via Nexis]

While Promoting The Hearing, Issa Called Lawsuit A "Distortion Of U.S. Law" That Could Lead To "Forced Unionization Of America." From the June 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (host): In this time when the economy's bad and jobs are scarce, Boeing decided to put a plant into South Carolina and start building. What happened?

ISSA: This is the strangest distortion of U.S. law. Under a 1935 act, you have the ability to stop a company from retribution, from reprisals, for a strike or some other union activity. In this case, Boeing is expanding. They've added 3,000 jobs in Everett, Wash. - this is the Seattle area plant.

KILMEADE: Union jobs.

ISSA: Union jobs. They're adding 1,000 jobs in South Carolina, in Charleston. That happened to be a plant that voted out the union - it's a right to work state, they voted out the union. What's happening is NLRB has come in and said, 'No you can't add that 1,000 jobs, you have to add all 4,000 jobs in Seattle, otherwise it's a reprisal.'

If we set a standard that if you don't continually expand upon your union base - if you ever try to expand outside of your union base, it's a reprisal - it is literally the forced unionization of America. [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 6/28/11, via Political Correction]

Labor Law Expert: If Allegations Are True, This Is An "Absolutely Standard Violation" Of Federal Labor Laws

Labor Law Professor Brudney: "Relocating Work Away From A Plant Because Of Too Much Lawful Union Activity Would Be A Classic Violation" Of Federal Labor Laws. In a telephone interview with Media Matters, James J. Brudney, the Newton D. Baker-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, said: "Relocating work away from a plant because of too much lawful union activity would be a classic violation of 8(a)(3)" of the National Labor Relations Act, which makes it illegal for employers "to discriminat[e] in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization." [Brudney Phone Interview with Media Matters, 5/11/11]

Labor And Employment Law Professor Fisk: If NLRB General Counsel's Complaint Is True, This Is An "Absolutely Standard Violation" Of Federal Labor Laws. In a telephone interview with Media Matters, University of California-Irvine Chancellor's Professor of Law Catherine Fisk said that if the NLRB general counsel's complaint is true, this is an "absolutely standard violation of Section 8(a)(1) [of the National Labor Relations Act], which has been in the statute since 1935 and prohibits retaliation against employees for protected activities" such as forming a union, engaging in collective bargaining, and striking. Fisk also said that she saw "nothing controversial" about the complaint. [Fisk Phone Interview with Media Matters, 5/11/11]

Fisk: Company Violates Federal Labor Laws If It Relocates Work For Purposes Of "Seeking To Stop Workers From Engaging In Unionizing, Collective Bargaining, And Striking." In a telephone interview with Media Matters, University of California-Irvine Chancellor's Professor of Law Catherine Fisk also said that the case against Boeing is "all about whether the company was retaliating for the workers' decision to unionize" or engage in another protected activity like striking. She said, "It is permissible for an employer to move work to find lower wages," but it violates labor laws if they do it for the purpose of "seeking to stop workers from engaging in unionizing, collective bargaining, and striking." [Fisk Phone Interview with Media Matters, 5/11/11]

Labor Law Professor Secunda: Complaint Against Boeing Shows The NLRB Is "Carrying Out Its Congressionally Mandated Mission To Protect The Right Of Workers To Engage In Concerted Activity." From a Seattle Times editorial by Marquette University Law School Associate Professor Paul Secunda:

The National Labor Relations Act gives workers the unequivocal right to engage in concerted activity -- including the right to strike. Boeing stated publicly that it was moving production away from Washington because its workers there previously went on strike and could go on strike again in the future.

Such comments amount to an admission from the company that it was intentionally retaliating against employees and trying to limit their rights -- a clear affront to the law that the NLRB is charged with enforcing.

At the end of the day, what we are seeing is the agency carrying out its congressionally mandated mission to protect the right of workers to engage in concerted activity for mutual aid and protection. The agency is simply enforcing the law, providing balance and fairness for workers and businesses alike. [Seattle Times4/29/11]

Labor Law Professor Hirsch: Boeing Allegations Involve A "Relatively Straightforward Case Of An Employer Punishing Workers For Striking." From a post on the Workplace Prof Blog by University of Tennessee College of Law Associate Professor Jeffrey Hirsch:

I've been surprised at how much attention is getting paid to the NLRB General Counsel's complaint against Boeing. Based on what I've seen, the conservative uproar to what, based on the allegations is a relatively straightforward case of an employer punishing workers for striking (with admittedly large potential economic impacts), is way out of proportion. But this editorial from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required, but if you Google the title, you can find it free) and the legislation it describes, has now entered the bizzaro stage.

As for the editorial, even taking into account the normal tenor one would expect from a WSJ editorial, I honestly don't ever remember seeing any piece of writing with so many inaccuracies. For instance, there's the title, which states that there is a Board ruling (it's just a GC complaint); the description of the remedy to shut down production in South Carolina (the GC doesn't seek that, it would just require Boeing to maintain production in Washington; and the argument that the complaint requires employers to stay in non-right-to-work states (I don't even know where to begin). Two minutes with a fact-checker would've had these cut, although that would've undermined the purpose of the editorial and its support for the legislation. [Workplace Prof Blog, 5/4/11]

Labor Law Expert: Boeing Case Is Part Of "A Very Long Line Of Cases ... NLRB Has Been Pressing Since The 1940s"

Fisk: Complaint Against Boeing Is Part Of "A Very Long Line Of Cases That The NLRB Has Been Pressing Since The 1940s." Fisk also said that the complaint against Boeing is part of "a very long line of cases that the NLRB has been pressing since the 1940s, when employers began moving work from unionized workplaces in the industrial Northeast to non-unionized workplaces in the Southeast and later the Southwest." [Fisk Phone Interview with Media Matters, 5/11/11]

Brudney: "If You Undergo A Partial Closing For Anti-Union Reasons, That May Be An Unfair Labor Practice If It Was Done To Chill Protected Union Activity In The Future." Pointing to the 1965 Supreme Court case of Textile Workers Union v. Darlington Manufacturing Co., Brudney observed that a company is allowed to go out of business because of union activity, but "if you undergo a partial closing for anti-union reasons, that may be an unfair labor practice if it was done to chill protected union activity in the future." If done for that reason, under Darlington it would be unlawful under federal labor law. [Brudney Phone Interview with Media Matters, 5/11/11]

  • Supreme Court In Darlington: "A Partial Closing Is An Unfair Labor Practice ... If Motivated By A Purpose To Chill Unionism In Any Of The Remaining Plants Of The Single Employer." From the Supreme Court's majority opinion in Darlington:

The closing of an entire business, even though discriminatory, ends the employer-employee relationship; the force of such a closing is entirely spent as to that business when termination of the enterprise takes place. On the other hand, a discriminatory partial closing may have repercussions on what remains of the business, affording employer leverage for discouraging the free exercise of [National Labor Relations Act] § 7 rights among remaining employees of much the same kind as that found to exist in the "runaway shop" and "temporary closing" cases. Moreover, a possible remedy open to the Board in such a case, like the remedies available in the "runaway shop" and "temporary closing" cases, is to order reinstatement of the discharged employees in the other parts of the business. No such remedy is available when an entire business has been terminated. By analogy to those cases involving a continuing enterprise, we are constrained to hold, in disagreement with the Court of Appeals, that a partial closing is an unfair labor practice under § 8(a)(3) if motivated by a purpose to chill unionism in any of the remaining plants of the single employer and if the employer may reasonably have foreseen that such closing would likely have that effect. [Textile Workers Union v. Darlington Manufacturing Co.3/29/65, citation and footnote omitted]

Issa And His Subcommittee Chairs Introduced Bill To Kill Jobs

Bill Would Reduce Federal Workforce By 10 Percent. From a June 6 Oversight Committee press release: "Drawing on recommendations from the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced the bill designed to reduce the size of federal workforce by 10% by 2015. The bill allows for one federal employee to be hired to replace every three that retire or leave their job. The Commission's proposal has been estimated to save taxpayers $127.5 billion over ten years. The legislation fulfills a policy recommended in the Fiscal Year 2012 House Budget Resolution." [Oversight Committee Press Release, 6/6/11, via Oversight.House.Gov]

Issa Said Bill Needed To "Reduce The Growth Curve." From a June 6 Oversight Committee press release: "'In 1996, Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over. From January 1994 to December 2000, the Administration and Republicans in Congress worked together to reduce the size of the federal workforce by 381,000,' said Issa, the committee's chairman. 'Because of explosive growth in the federal workforce in this Administration, these accomplishments have been erased. This bill will help us reverse the growth curve.'" [Oversight Committee Press Release, 6/6/11, via Oversight.House.Gov]

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