A new bill would return the power to adjudicate labor disputes back to federal courts instead of being resolved by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee reintroduced the “Protecting American Jobs Act” Thursday.
Lee charges that the NLRB, an independent federal agency created to enforce the National Labor Relations Act passed in 1935, “has historically ignored traditional standards of due process operated under lengthy and bureaucratic procedures, and caved to political pressures.”
“For far too long the NRLB has acted as judge, jury, and executioner, for labor disputes in this country,” Lee said announcing the legislation Monday. “The havoc they have wrought by upsetting decades of established labor law has cost countless jobs. This commons sense legislation would finally restore fairness and accountability to our nation’s labor laws.”
The bill is being co-sponsored by fellow Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Lee introduced the legislation in 2017 but it failed to make it out of committee. The bill would still allow the NRLB to handle investigations but it would no longer be able to hear labor disputes.
Since his election to the Senate in 2010 as part of the tea-party wave that restored a Republican majority in the House, Lee has made reining in the federal bureaucracy and restoring the constitutional roles of the government’s three primary branches of government a centerpiece of his time in Congress.
Lee has written and published four books since joining the Senate, including “Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document.” That came out in 2015 and focuses on the need for Congress to be more assertive in its oversight of the federal bureaucracy and reclaim its rulemaking authority.