A powerful union will escalate a fight with Republicans over the party’s push to make it harder for rail and airline workers to unionize.
This week, the Communications Workers of America will launch direct mail and robocall campaigns against the GOP’s top transportation policy maker, and about two dozen other GOP members of the House of Representatives, according to officials.
The campaign stems from a months-long fight over legislation to permanently reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration programs. House Republicans want to use that bill to fiddle with mediation rules, so that airline workers who abstain from voting on whether to form a union would be tallied as having voted “no.”
The Democratic-controlled Senate and White House, along with labor groups, strongly oppose this measure, which has become the key sticking point in broader negotiations over the country’s aviation infrastructure. The impasse prevented bipartisan agreement on a permanent reauthorization in July, just as funding for the agency was set to expire. To pressure Democrats to relent in the broader fight, House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) jammed Democrats with a temporary reauthorization that stripped funding for rural airports in states like Nevada and West Virginia, represented by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV), respectively.
After a partial agency shutdown turned into a post-debt ceiling political conflagration, the tactic largely failed. And now, with the temporary funds set to expire once again, CWA is stepping up its efforts to re-center the debate on the core issue.
“Another shutdown could happen Sept. 16th because of their political games,” the mailer reads. “Tell them no more FAA shutdowns and to pass a clean FAA Reauthorization bill free of special interest provisions.”
In addition to Mica, the campaign will also target the following Republicans:
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Rep. Thomas Latham (R-IA), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL), Rep. Andrew Harris (R-MD), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH), Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH), Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Rep, Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA), and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI).
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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.