Trump Administration Puts Support Behind Right-to-Work Laws

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By Tyrone Richardson and Ben Penn

The Trump administration reaffirmed support for right-to-work laws, days after House Republicans reintroduced a bill that would prevent unions from requiring nonmembers to pay representation fees.

“The president believes in right to work. He wants to give workers and companies the flexibility to do what’s in the best interest for job creators,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during the Feb. 3 daily news conference. “Obviously the vice president has been a champion of this as well.”

The National Right to Work Act ( H.R. 785), introduced by Reps. Joe Wilson (S.C.) and Steve King (Iowa), would prohibit “union security” clauses in collective bargaining agreements, which require nonunion members who are covered by the agreements to pay representation fees. The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Robert Pittenger (N.C.) and Jeff Duncan (S.C.), was referred to the Education and the Workforce Committee Feb. 1. Wilson is vice chairman of the committee.

Similar bills introduced in recent years didn’t move, but supporters say GOP control of the White House and Congress could make this time different.

President Donald Trump expressed support for right-to-work laws on the campaign trail during his run for the White House.

Vice President Mike Pence is the former governor of Indiana, which is one of 27 states that has enacted right-to-work laws. That number could increase in coming months, as Missouri and New Hampshire lawmakers consider measures.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at; Ben Penn in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at; Terence Hyland at; Christopher Opfer at

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