Labor Dept. Funding Cuts Bill Teed Up for Senate, House Votes

By Tyrone Richardson

The Senate as early as next week is expected to approve a “minibus” appropriations bill that would cut Labor Department funding and keep the NLRB unchanged for the next fiscal year.

House and Senate appropriators agreed on a merged version of a massive legislation package (H.R. 6157) to fund the DOL, the National Labor Relations Board, the Defense department, the Health and Human Services Department, and related agencies. That includes agreeing to $12.1 billion for the DOL, down $128 million from the amount enacted last year. The appropriators also agreed to keep NLRB funding at $274 million, unchanged for the current fiscal year for the agency tasked with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act.

The reconciled version rejects the House bill that sought to cut NLRB funding by about 5 percent.

While the Senate will likely vote on the minibus as early as next week, the House is expected to address the measure when it reconvenes the week of Sept. 24.

The agreed upon minibus removes “poison pill” policy riders that were in the House version, appropriators have said. Such partisan provisions essentially would have thwarted passage in the Senate, where the support of at least nine Democrats is required to avoid a filibuster. The riders included a reversal of a controversial Obama-era NLRB decision expanding joint employer liability for businesses in staffing, franchise, and other contractual relationships.