Peter Welch on Jobs



Voted NO on allowing compensatory time off for working overtime.

Congressional Summary:

Opponent's Argument for voting No:

Reference: Working Families Flexibility Act; Bill H.R.1406 ; vote number 13-HV137 on Apr 9, 2013

Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks.

Congressional Summary:Revises the formula for Tier-1 amounts a state credits to an applicant's emergency unemployment compensation account. Increases the figures in the formula from 50% to 80% of the total amount of regular compensation ; and from 13 to 20 times the individual's average weekly benefit amount.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. CHARLES RANGEL (D, NY-15): The House, for weeks, has attempted to save the free world from a fiscal disaster. We have bailed out the banks and those who held mortgages. At the same time, we provided for energy extensions, we provided tax breaks for those people that tax provisions have expired. We provided for hurricane relief, for mental health. So over $1 trillion is out there for this House to ease the pain of millions of Americans.

While we were dealing with these gigantic powers, we overlooked the fact that over the last 12 months the number of unemployed workers has jumped by over 2 million, leaving 10 million Americans struggling for work. These are hardworking people that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Rep. JERRY WELLER (R, IL-11): This important legislation provides additional needed assistance to the long-term unemployed. It's important that we pass this legislation today as our last act before we leave for the election campaign.

This legislation focuses the most additional benefits on workers and States where the unemployment rate is highest and where jobs are hardest to find. This program continues the requirement that those benefiting from extended unemployment benefits had to have worked at least 20 weeks. Americans were rightly concerned about proposals to eliminate that work requirement and allow 39 weeks or, under the legislation before us today, as many as 59 weeks of total unemployment benefits to be paid to those who have previously only worked for a few weeks.

Opponent's argument to vote No:None voiced.

Reference: Unemployment Compensation Extension Act; Bill HR.6867 ; vote number 2008-H683 on Oct 3, 2008

Voted YES on overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill.

OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This bill was vetoed twice! Congress passed an identical bill in May, which Pres. Bush vetoed. Congress then discovered that a clerical error. A replacement bill was passed; then vetoed again by the President; and this is its "final" veto override.

Congressional Summary: Provides for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through FY2012. Revises agricultural and related programs, including provisions respecting:

  1. commodity programs;
  2. conservation;
  3. trade;
  4. nutrition;
  5. credit;
  6. rural development;
  7. research and related matters;
  8. forestry;
  9. energy;
  10. horticulture and organic agriculture;
  11. livestock;
  12. crop insurance and disaster assistance;
  13. socially disadvantaged and limited resource producers; and
  14. miscellaneous programs.
President's veto message: I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 6124. The bill that I vetoed on May 21, 2008, H.R. 2419, did not include the title III (trade) provisions that are in this bill. In passing H.R. 6124, the Congress had an opportunity to improve on H.R. 2419 by modifying certain objectionable, onerous, and fiscally imprudent provisions [but did not].

This bill lacks fiscal discipline. It continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase. It is inconsistent with our trade objectives of securing greater market access for American farmers. [Hence] I must veto H.R. 6124.

Proponents argument for voting YEA: We had a meeting this morning with the Secretary of Agriculture to talk about implementation. So [despite the two vetoes], the work has been going on within the department of agriculture to get ready for implementation.

This is a good bill. It has wide support in the Congress. It does address all of the issues that have been brought to the Agriculture Committee.

Reference: Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; Bill HR6124 ; vote number 2008-417 on Jun 18, 2008

Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing.

    To enable employees to form & join labor organizations, and to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts. Requires investigation that an employer:
    1. discharged or discriminated against an employee to discourage membership in a labor organization;
    2. threatened to discharge employees in the exercise of guaranteed collective bargaining rights; and
    3. adds to remedies for such violations: back pay plus liquidated damages; and additional civil penalties.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    The principle at stake here is the freedom that all workers should have to organize for better working conditions & fair wages. There are many employers around the country who honor this freedom. Unfortunately, there are also many employers who do not. These employers attempt to prevent workers from unionizing by using tactics that amount to harassment, if not outright firing. In fact, one in five people who try to organize unions are fired. These tactics are already illegal, but the penalties are so minor, they are not effective deterrents.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    Democracy itself is placed at risk by this bill. The sanctity of the secret ballot is the backbone of our democratic process. Not one voter signed a card to send us here to Congress. None of us sent our campaign workers out to voters' houses armed with candidate information & a stack of authorization cards. No. We trusted democracy. We trusted the voters to cast their ballots like adults, freely, openly, without intimidation, and we live with the results. But here we are, poised to advance legislation to kill a secret ballot process.

    Let's be clear. Every American has the right to organize. No one is debating that. This is a right we believe in so strongly we have codified it and made it possible for workers to do so through a secret ballot.

    Reference: The Employee Free Choice Act; Bill H R 800 ; vote number 2007-118 on Mar 1, 2007

    Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25.

    Increase the federal minimum wage to:
    1. $5.85 an hour, beginning on the 60th day after enactment;
    2. $6.55 an hour, beginning 12 months after that 60th day; and
    3. $7.25 an hour, beginning 24 months after that 60th day.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    We have waited for over 10 years to have a clean vote on the minimum wage for the poorest workers in this country Low-wage workers had their wages frozen in time, from 10 years ago, but when they go to the supermarket, the food prices are higher; when they put gasoline in the car, the gasoline prices are higher; when they pay the utility bills, the utility bills are higher; when their kids get sick, the medical bills are higher. All of those things are higher. They are living in 2007, but in their wages they are living in 1997.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    This bill is marked more by what is not in the bill than what is in it. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create two-thirds of our Nation's new jobs, and they represent 98% of the new businesses in the US. What protection does this bill provide them? None whatsoever.

    We can do better. In the interest of sending the President a final measure that provides consideration for small businesses and their workers, the very men and women who are responsible for our economy's recent growth and strength, we must do better.

    Reference: Fair Minimum Wage Act; Bill HR 2 ("First 100 hours") ; vote number 2007-018 on Jan 10, 2007

    Form unions by card-check instead of secret ballot.

    Welch signed H.R.1409&S.560

    Amends the National Labor Relations Act to require the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to certify a bargaining representative without directing an election if a majority of the bargaining unit employees have authorized designation of the representative (card-check) and there is no other individual or labor organization currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit.

      Requires that priority be given to any charge that, while employees were seeking representation by a labor organization, an employer:
    1. discharged or otherwise discriminated against an employee to encourage or discourage membership in the labor organization;
    2. threatened to discharge or to otherwise discriminate against an employee in order to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of guaranteed self-organization or collective bardaining rights; or
    3. engaged in any unfair labor practice that significantly interferes with, restrains, or coerces employees in the exercise of such guaranteed rights.
      Source: Employee Free Choice Act 09-HR1409 on Mar 10, 2009

      Member of House Committee on Agriculture.

      Welch is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture

      The House Committee on Agriculture has general jurisdiction over federal agriculture policy and oversight of some federal agencies, and it can recommend funding appropriations for various governmental agencies, programs, and activities, as defined by House rules. The Committee was established in 1820; in 1880 forestry was added to its jurisdiction. Its jurisdiction now includes:

      1. Adulteration of seeds, insect pests, and protection of birds and animals in forest reserves.
      2. Agriculture generally.
      3. Agricultural and industrial chemistry.
      4. Agricultural colleges and experiment stations.
      5. Agricultural economics and research.
      6. Agricultural education extension services.
      7. Agricultural production and marketing and stabilization of prices of agricultural products, and commodities (not including distribution outside of the United States).
      8. Animal industry and diseases of animals.
      9. Commodity exchanges.
      10. Crop insurance and soil conservation.
      11. Dairy industry.
      12. Entomology and plant quarantine.
      13. Extension of farm credit and farm security.
      14. Inspection of livestock, poultry, meat products, and seafood and seafood products.
      15. Forestry in general, and forest reserves other than those created from the public domain.
      16. Human nutrition and home economics.
      17. Plant industry, soils, and agricultural engineering.
      18. Rural electrification.
      19. Rural development.
      20. Water conservation related to activities of the Department of Agriculture.
      Source: U.S. House of Representatives website, www.house.gov 11-HC-Ag on Feb 3, 2011

      Rated 0% by CEI, indicating a pro-worker rights voting record.

      Welch scores 0% by CEI on union issues

      The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a public policy organization dedicated to the principles of free markets and limited government, has created a Congressional Labor Scorecard for the 112th Congress focusing on worker issues. The score is determined based on policies that support worker freedom and the elimination of Big Labor's privileges across the country.

        Votes in the current Congress score include:
      • Bill: H.R. 658, LaTourette Amendment No. 21: NO on repealing changes to the Railway Labor Act's voting rules.
      • Bill: H.R. 658, Gingrey Amendment No. 18: YES to prohibit Federal Aviation Administration employees from using official--that is, taxpayer sponsored--time for union activities during the official workday.
      • Bill: H.R. 1, Price Amendment No. 410: YES to defund the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
      • Bill: H.R. 1, Guinta Amendment No. 166: YES to prohibit imposing "prevailing wage" and other requirements in project labor agreements that advantage unionized contractors.
      • Bill: H.R. 2017, Scalise Amendment No. 388: YES to prohibit project labor agreements in DHS contracts
      • Bill: H.R. 2055, LaTourette Amendment No. 411: NO on funding for federal project labor agreements.
      • Bill: H.R. 1, King Amendment No. 273: YES to eliminate the "Davis Bacon" prevailing wage rate requirement for federal projects.
      • Bill: H.R. 2017, Gosar Amendment No. 386: YES to eliminate the "Davis Bacon" prevailing wage rate requirement for Department of Homeland Security contracts.
      • Bill: H.R. 2354: Gosar Amendment No. 655: YES to restrict application of the Davis-Bacon Act to contracts exceeding $20 million.
      • Bill: H.R. 2017: Rokita Amendment No. 2: YES to prohibit collective bargaining at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
      Source: CEI website 12-CEI-H on May 2, 2012

      Raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016.

      Welch co-sponsored Minimum Wage Fairness Act

      Congressional summary: Increases the federal minimum wage for employees to:

      1. $8.20 an hour beginning 6 months after enactment
      2. $9.15 an hour beginning 1 year later,
      3. $10.10 an hour beginning 2 years later, and
      4. an amount determined by increases in the Consumer Price Index, beginning annually after 3 years.
      • Increases the federal minimum wage for tipped employees to $3.00 an hour beginning 6 months after enactment, with annual CPI adjustments.

      Proponent's argument in favor (RaiseTheMinimumWage.com): The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour remains decades out of date, and the federal minimum wage for tipped workers--$2.13 per hour--has not increased in over 20 years. The minimum wage of the past provided significantly more buying power than it does today. The minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968 would be $10.56 today when adjusted for inflation.

      Opponent's argument against: (Neil King in Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24, 2014): The CBO concluded that a jump in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could eliminate 500,000 jobs. For Republicans, the report provided ammunition that a higher minimum wage would kill jobs. Democrats pointed to the CBO's findings that the higher wage would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But both sides missed a key finding: That a smaller hike from the current $7.25 to $9.00 an hour would cause almost no pain, and still lift 300,000 people out of poverty while raising the incomes of 7.6 million people.Congressional Budget Office report:: Once fully implemented, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3%. Some people earning slightly more than $10.10 would also have higher earnings, due to the heightened demand for goods and services. The increased earnings for low-wage workers would total $31 billion. Accounting for all increases and decreases, overall real income would rise by $2 billion.

      Source: S.1737 & H.R.1010 14-H1010 on Mar 6, 2013

      Ban discriminatory compensation; allow 2 years to sue.

      Welch signed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

        Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to declare that an unlawful employment practice occurs when:
      1. a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted;
      2. an individual becomes subject to the decision or practice; or
      3. an individual is affected by application of the decision or practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid.
      Allows an aggrieved person to obtain relief, including recovery of back pay, for up to two years preceding the filing of the charge, where the unlawful employment practices that have occurred during the charge filing period are similar or related to practices that occurred outside the time for filing a charge. Applies the preceding provisions to claims of compensation discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

      [Note: A woman named Lilly Ledbetter filed a lawsuit for gender-based discriminatory compensation. The Supreme Court ruled that Ms. Ledbetter could only sue for damages going back 180 days, and the 180 days was calculated from the time her employment contract was initiated, i.e., her hire date. This new law changes the 180-day period to two years, and also calculates the date from the time of each paycheck, rather than the hire date. -- Ed.]

      Source: S.181&H.R.11 2009-S181 on Jan 29, 2009

      Stronger enforcement against gender-based pay discrimination.

      Welch signed Paycheck Fairness Act

        A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex.
      • Revises the exception to the prohibition for a wage rate differential based on any other factor other than sex. Limits such factors to bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.
      • Prohibits employer retaliation for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing the wages of the employee in response to a sex discrimination investigation.
      • Makes employers who violate sex discrimination prohibitions liable in a civil action for either compensatory or punitive damages.
      • States that any action brought to enforce the prohibition against sex discrimination may be maintained as a class action in which individuals may be joined as party plaintiffs without their written consent.
      Source: S.182&H.R.12 2009-S182 on Jan 8, 2009

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