07.30.20

Senator Murray Votes to Confirm Democratic Nominee to the NLRB, Demands Republicans Abandon Inadequate COVID Relief Proposal and Finally Support Workers

Senator Murray votes to confirm Lauren McFerran to the NLRB and votes against Republican nominee Marvin Kaplan

 

Senator Murray: “Workers right now are dealing with unprecedented challenges and are making great personal sacrifices to keep the country running during this crisis. And the nominees under consideration today for the National Labor Relations Board will play a critical role in safeguarding their rights and protections.”

 

(Washington, D.C.)  – Yesterday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, voted to confirm the nomination of Lauren McFerran to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and opposed the nomination of Marvin Kaplan, due to his extreme anti-worker and pro-corporation track record. In a statement for the record, Senator Murray also slammed years of Republican obstruction of Democratic nominees to the NLRB and other critical worker protection agencies, and vowed to keep fighting for the nomination of Jennifer Abruzzo to fill a Democratic seat Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration have left vacant for two years.

 

“Workers right now are dealing with unprecedented challenges and are making great personal sacrifices to keep the country running during this crisis. And the nominees under consideration today for the National Labor Relations Board will play a critical role in safeguarding their rights and protections,” said Senator Murray.

 

“Lauren McFerran … is a dedicated, qualified, and well-respected public servant who had a proven track record of fighting for workers before she joined the Board and has stood by workers in enforcing these fundamental protections during her time on the NLRB,” continued Senator Murray.  “But unfortunately, the opposite is true for Marvin Kaplan, the Republican nominee to the NLRB. Mr. Kaplan spent his career working to further corporations’ interests and gut workers’ rights instead of protecting them. That’s why Democrats opposed his nomination in 2017, and that’s exactly what he’s done since joining the NLRB. He is exactly wrong to serve another term on the NLRB—and that is why I voted against his confirmation.”

 

The NLRB is a critical worker protection agency that safeguards workers’ right to join or form a union to fight for higher wages, better benefits, and safer worker conditions. The NLRB was left with zero Democratic members when the Trump Administration allowed McFerran’s first term on the Board to expire on December 16, 2019. After repeated requests from Senate Democrats, McFerran was re-nominated in March. The second Democratic seat on the NLRB has remained empty for almost two years, despite Senator Murray’s continued calls for the White House to nominate Jennifer Abruzzo to fill the vacancy.

 

In her statement, Senator Murray also urged Senate Republicans to abandon their inadequate coronavirus relief proposal and instead work with Democrats to provide the support and protection that workers, families, and communities need.

 

Senator Murray’s full remarks for the record are below:

 

“Thank you, M. President.

 

“Workers right now are dealing with unprecedented challenges and are making great personal sacrifices to keep the country running during this crisis.

 

“And the nominees under consideration today for the National Labor Relations Board will play a critical role in safeguarding their rights and protections.

 

“That’s why I look forward to voting for Lauren McFerran to serve another term on the NLRB.

 

“She is a dedicated, qualified, and well-respected public servant who had a proven track record of fighting for workers before she joined the Board and has stood by workers in enforcing these fundamental protections during her time on the NLRB.

 

“But unfortunately, the opposite is true for Marvin Kaplan, the Republican nominee to the NLRB.

 

“Mr. Kaplan spent his career working to further corporations’ interests and gut workers’ rights instead of protecting them. That’s why Democrats opposed his nomination in 2017, and that’s exactly what he’s done since joining the NLRB.

 

“He is exactly wrong to serve another term on the NLRB—and that is why I voted against his confirmation.

 

“I am also extremely disappointed we do not have the nomination of another highly qualified Democrat to the NLRB, Jennifer Abruzzo, to consider today.

 

“Years of Republican obstruction of highly qualified Democratic nominees to critical worker protection agencies like the NLRB and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows a blatant disregard for longstanding deference to the minority party and is a significant departure from the customs of this institution. It is unacceptable and I will not stop pushing for Democratic nominees.

 

“I urge my colleagues to vote today to stand up for workers and their rights.

 

“I’d also like to say, Mr. President, that after months of delay from my Republican colleagues—the COVID relief proposal Republicans put forward this week is incredibly late, profoundly inadequate, and can’t credibly be considered a starting point for negotiations.

 

“It gives corporations a ‘get out of jail free’ card to prevent employers from being held accountable for keeping their workers safe, and a license to discriminate including on the basis of age, race, sex, and disability status.

 

“And instead of expanding unemployment benefits that have been a lifeline for workers in my home state and across the country—which by the way, are due to expire tomorrow—Republicans have slashed them.

 

“This bill doesn’t get us anywhere near where we need to be on developing a vaccine that is accessible and affordable to every person and is completely inadequate in addressing our testing and contract tracing shortfalls.

 

“And while Democrats want schools to re-open for in-person learning if it can be done safely—the partisan Republican proposal would put students, educators, and communities at risk.

 

“Republicans need to abandon this dangerous one-size fits all approach to re-opening schools in-person and pass our Child Care Education and Relief Act which would provide $430 billion dollars to address the national child care and education crises during this pandemic.

 

“My question to Republican leaders is why, when things are already so hard, are you determined to make them harder for people who are already struggling so much?

 

“It’s shameful. And we are going to keep calling you to account for it until workers, families and communities get the support they need.

 

“Thank you.”

 

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