Inside the Senate: National Security and Big Labor

This week, the Senate continues its work on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. Setting aside the bill’s merits and onus regulations, conservatives should focus on two issues: 1) earmarks; and 2) the big-labor wish list.

First, the bill violates the spirit of the recently announced earmark ban by funding pet projects in Senator’s home state. That was quick!

Second, and more important, is the bill would allow Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees to unionize. That is a mistake.

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) has an amendment that would exclude TSA employees from forming a union with collective bargaining rights. In other words: no unionization for the TSA.

The Wicker amendment preventing TSA unionization is important for two reasons. First, the TSA already has an internal peer-review process for workplace issues and federal employees already have work related protections. Second, there are valid security reasons why offices like the FBI, CIA and Secret Service cannot unionize.

As Heritage Action’s CEO Michael Needham explains, when special interests dominate an issue, the result isn’t always what’s in the best interest of the country.

Senator Wicker understands this, which is why he introduced the amendment. Two unions – the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union –are pushing for the new rules. They say unions provide stability to employers and employees. In reality, unions prevent good ideas from upsetting the status quo. The Wicker amendment would ensure that our national security would be constantly evolving as the threats to our country change.

Conservatives should pay attention to Senator Wicker’s amendment, which is simple and vital. A vote could come as early as Monday afternoon.

Phil Reboli contributed to this piece.

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