House Republicans on Monday passed a rules package that put an end to the unaccountable labor unions formed among progressive congressional staff.
The rules package, which passed the House on a vote of 220-213, included a provision to repeal a resolution passed by Democrats in 2022 which had given congressional staff the ability to unionize. Prior to the repeal, staff members in seven congressional offices had already voted to join the Congressional Workers Union (CWU) and staff in the office of Congressman Andy Levin (D-Mich.) had ratified a collective bargaining agreement.
The new rules passed by Republicans make clear that last year’s resolution allowing the formation of staff unions “shall have no force or effect during the One Hundred Eighteenth Congress.” In a separate summary, House Republicans clarified that their rules will “eliminate Democrats’ creation of House staff labor unions so that Congressional staff are accountable to the elected officials they serve.”
Members of Congress are elected by the American people. Staffers are not. With the new rule change, House Republicans ensure that congressional staff remains accountable to our elected representatives––and, in turn, to the voters––rather than the other way around.
The rule change also has implications for taxpayers. In the private sector, labor unions negotiate against the business which employs their members. However, because public-sector employees are employed by the government and receive their salaries from tax dollars, public-sector unions effectively negotiate against the taxpayers themselves.
Congressional staff should fight for the interests of their taxpaying constituents––not fight directly against them.
With the elimination of congressional staff unions in the 118th Congress, Americans can expect cost savings, higher-quality constituent services, and more effective representation on the Hill, compared to a session dragged down by Big Labor interests.