To Sen. Reid: The House already passed FAA Reauthorization

August 1, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s demands for the House of Representatives to return to Washington to work on the FAA reauthorization “a silly ploy.”

“The House acted on the FAA reauthorization months ago. It’s in the Senate. They can either amend it, or pass it as written. But the House is under no obligation to produce the bill that Harry Reid prefers just to avoid a conference committee situation,” Wilson said.

“This is an orchestrated government shutdown,” Wilson added, saying, “it is at odds with how the legislative process is supposed to function.” He said the issue centered on provisions in the House bill that would undo a May 11, 2010, ruling by the National Mediation Board (NMB) to repeal the so-called “Majority Rule.” Under more than 70 years of precedent that was overturned by the Board, it took a majority of an organizing unit voting “yes” to permanently organize a union.

Now, because of the NMB ruling, it only takes a majority of those voting, a considerably lower threshold. Wilson said the NMB’s decision clearly violates the law, and supported the House version of the FAA reauthorization.

According to Section 152 of the Railway Labor Act, “The majority of any craft or class of employees shall have the right to determine who shall be the representative of the craft or class for the purposes of this chapter.”

“The House has simply reaffirmed what the law already says, and rolled back the National Mediation Board’s arbitrary decision to make airlines and railways easier to unionize,” Wilson said, adding, “The Senate can take it or leave it.”

Wilson threw the ball into Reid’s court, saying, “The Senate is holding up the FAA reauthorization because it does not want to be seen as the shills for Big Labor that they really are.”

There is no emergency, he said, as essential government employees, like the air traffic controllers, are still working. “But Reid is holding thousands of furloughed workers hostage just to make it easier for Big Labor to unionize companies like Delta. Despite his preference, he can either pass or amend the House bill that has already been sent to him,” Wilson concluded.


National Mediation Board Rule Change Summary, Republican Senate staff, September 2010

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.