September 27, 2019
The House Education and Labor Committee passed by a 26 to 21 party-line vote the Protecting the Right to Organize Act ("PRO Act," H.R. 2474), which if enacted would be the most dramatic rewrite of labor law since the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947.
Among many drastic, pro-labor changes, the PRO Act would:
During the markup session, four key amendments to the bill were adopted by committee vote:
Over 30 GOP amendments were offered to strike the most radical provisions during the seven-hour markup to create a record of opposition and help frame the upcoming debate on the House floor -- all of them defeated on party-line votes
HR Policy action: HR Policy Senior Labor and Employment Counsel Roger King testified against the measure at a committee hearing this summer.
Outlook: The bill will likely be considered by the full House this fall, where the votes of more centrist Democrats will be watched closely. It is extremely unlikely that the PRO Act will get any Republican support, making passage through the Senate equally as unlikely. Nonetheless, the bill's support among Democratic lawmakers (the bill has more than 200 sponsors) and its subsequent movement in the House should be of concern to employers, particularly given the increasing uncertainty clouding the 2020 election cycle. Several Democratic 2020 Presidential contenders, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have cosponsored the legislation in the Senate. Thus, while the PRO Act is unlikely to become law anytime soon, it is likely to resurface—in current form or otherwise—in coming years.