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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) voted against the Republican-led resolution of disapproval that would have overturned critical new rules from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to protect workers and smooth the workplace election process across the country. The Resolution was defeated 45-54.

Murray spoke on the Senate floor yesterday to urge her colleagues to oppose the resolution.

Key excerpts from Murray’s speech yesterday:

“I come to the floor today to express my strong opposition to the resolution of disapproval filed by Senate Republicans that seeks to overturn critical new NLRB rules to protect workers across America. I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose it.”

“The Republican resolution is bad for business, it’s bad for working families, and it shouldn’t pass.  Workers across America deserve a fair process in the workplace.  And the NLRB rules this resolution would eliminate remove some of the unfair and unnecessary roadblocks so many workers face every day.”

“This agency has borne the brunt of political attacks over the last year from special interest groups and elected officials trying to score political points at the expense of workers and families.  Many of these attacks have been inaccurate—and many have been unfair.  Some have used the case involving Boeing and workers in my home state of Washington to weaken the agency—even while the NLRB’s work allowed the two sides to come together and find a solution.  I think this is wrong. And these attacks should end.”

“…the NLRB election rules are modest and common-sense steps toward a fairer system for workers and businesses. They will help move us toward a system that works for everyone. And they will help make sure workers can exercise their rights to bargain for fair wages, benefits, and equitable treatment under the law. That’s what workers expect, it’s what they deserve—and it’s what the NLRB is working to deliver.”

The full text of Murray’s speech follows (video):

Madam President, I come to the floor today to express my strong opposition to the resolution of disapproval filed by Senate Republicans that seeks to overturn critical new NLRB rules to protect workers across America. I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose it.

Madam President, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle frequently complain about how we spend our time here on the Senate floor. 

Well today, I have to say I’m disappointed we are being forced to spend valuable time on this issue. 

Because Madam President, while middle class families across America continue to struggle in this tough economy,  Senate Republicans want to spend time attacking an agency whose mission is to protect workers and employers, and which is critical to protecting access to the middle class for workers and families.

Thankfully, our economy seems to have stepped back from the precipice, but for so many workers—paychecks still haven’t caught up, benefits continue to slip away, hours are getting cut, and job security is eroding.

That’s why I was very glad that at the end of last year, the National Labor Relations Board voted to adopt modest, common-sense rules  that would make it easier for workers to fight for fair treatment in the workplace and would help bring the NLRB into the 21 century.

These new rules are not going solve every problem, but they are a good step in the right direction and will help workers and families across the country.

The new NLRB rules will strengthen and streamline the voting process by reducing unnecessary litigation and intentional delays, streamlining pre- and post-election procedures, and facilitating the use of electronic communications and document filing.

These are common-sense steps that should not be controversial.

So Madam President, I am extremely disappointed that Senate Republicans want to eliminate these rules and roll back the clock on worker protections.

The Republican resolution would eliminate steps to standardize and add transparency to the employee election process.

It would eliminate steps that reduce frivolous litigation and create a more cohesive and productive workplace for workers and business.

And it would fundamentally weaken NLRB processes and procedures that workers and businesses rely on to settle disputes.

The Republican resolution is bad for business, it’s bad for working families, and it shouldn’t pass.  Workers across America deserve a fair process in the workplace.  And the NLRB rules this resolution would eliminate remove some of the unfair and unnecessary roadblocks so many workers face every day.

Madam President, while we are discussing this issue, I want to express my disappointment and anger at the recent report from the Inspector General about improper and politicized activities by a current Republican member of the NLRB board, an individual who previously worked for another board member who is a former staffer for a Republican member of the Senate.

The report details multiple instances of ethics misconduct, including the sharing of confidential information with outside parties.

I am hopeful that this issue is investigated fully.

I’m deeply worried about the actions some people will take to undermine an agency whose mission is to protect the rights of workers and employers.  Honestly, I find it to be a sad statement about the nature of our politics today.

Because Madam President—the NLRB is doing a lot of good work for workers across America, and it shouldn’t be tarnished with these sorts of ethics issues.

This agency has borne the brunt of political attacks over the last year from special interest groups and elected officials trying to score political points at the expense of workers and families.

Many of these attacks have been inaccurate—and many have been unfair.

Some have used the case involving Boeing and workers in my home state of Washington to weaken the agency—even while the NLRB’s work allowed the two sides to come together and find a solution.

I think this is wrong. And these attacks should end.

Madam President, the NLRB election rules are modest and common-sense steps toward a fairer system for workers and businesses. They will help move us toward a system that works for everyone.

And they will help make sure workers can exercise their rights to bargain for fair wages, benefits, and equitable treatment under the law.

That’s what workers expect, it’s what they deserve—and it’s what the NLRB is working to deliver.

So Madam President, once again, I urge my colleagues to vote against this resolution of disapproval.

It’s the wrong way to go for workers, for businesses, and for the middle class.

Thank you. I yield the floor.