A new plan to stop strikes before they start

A NEW PLAN TO STOP STRIKES BEFORE THEY START…. Most of the union-busting schemes we’ve seen in recent months have come at the state level, but Zaid Jilani flags one at the federal level that hasn’t generated much attention at all.

GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (OH), Tim Scott (SC), Scott Garrett (NJ), Dan Burton (IN), and Louie Gohmert (TX) have introduced H.R. 1135, which states that it is designed to “provide information on total spending on means-tested welfare programs, to provide additional work requirements, and to provide an overall spending limit on means-tested welfare programs.”

Much of the bill is based upon verifying that those who receive food stamps benefits are meeting the federal requirements for doing so. However, one section buried deep within the bill adds a startling new requirement. The bill, if passed, would actually cut off all food stamp benefits to any family where one adult member is engaging in a strike against an employer.

If this seems unusually punitive, that’s because it is. The message these Republican lawmakers want to send is as straightforward as it is callous: if you go on strike, your family should have less access to food.

Jon Chait added, “I don’t believe these members of Congress actually sought to punish the spouses and children of striking workers, but when you’re waging class war, collateral damage is inevitable.”

All of this, by the way, comes against a backdrop of GOP policymakers trying to cut the entire food-stamp program, regardless of a person’s employment situation, while leaving wasteful agriculture subsidies alone.

It’s worth noting, of course, that’s extremely unlikely the Democratic Senate and/or Democratic White House would go along with the House Republican plan to punish striking workers like this, but the fact that several prominent GOP lawmakers would even consider this worthwhile says a great deal about their priorities.