House Panel Approves Labor Funding Cuts

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By Chris Opfer

A House Appropriations subcommittee today approved a measure that would trim Labor Department and National Labor Relations Board funding.

The legislation would provide $12.1 billion in discretionary funding for the DOL, about 7 percent less then enacted by Congress last year. The bill would give the NLRB a 5 percent funding haircut, reducing its allotment to $261.3 million.

The measure also includes a policy rider to undo a controversial Obama-era NLRB decision expanding joint employer liability for businesses in staffing, franchise, and other contractual relationships. The NLRB is currently working on a regulation to address the decision, which made it easier to tag multiple businesses as joint employers for collective bargaining purposes.

Another rider would bar the NLRB from exercising jurisdiction at Indian casinos and other businesses on tribal lands.

The bill is likely to get enough Republican support to pass in the House. The Senate is working on its own version of a labor spending measure. Lawmakers in that chamber left policy riders largely out of their labor appropriations legislation last year in an effort to secure the Democratic support needed to move legislation in the Senate.

The Senate has yet to take up a Republican-backed bill to restrict joint employer liability that passed in the House. A “tribal labor sovereignty” bill that passed in the House earlier this year was voted down in the Senate.

The subcommittee approved the appropriations bill by voice vote.

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