Reconciliation: PRO ActSeptember 16, 2021
Another key piece of the Build Back Better Act, informally referred to as the reconciliation bill, includes language from the NSBA-opposed Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act which would drastically and fundamentally change the nature and scope of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and labor-management relations in the private sector.
The PRO Act has languished in the House over the last couple of years, with uncertain (at best) hopes of advancing through the regular rules of the U.S. Senate. The House Education and Labor Committee, on Sept. 8, 2021, released language that its aims to include as part of the budget reconciliation.
That language would, among other things, appropriate $350,000,000 for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), authorize the implementation of an electronic voting system for union elections and codifies and increases certain civil penalties for unfair labor practices.
It is expected that all of the PRO Act provisions in the Education and Labor language will be challenged under the so-called Byrd Rule on the Senate side. Given that these provisions have next to nothing to do with outlays or revenues, it is difficult to see how most, if any, of it would survive a “Byrd bath.” That said, until this language is actually stricken, it remains a significant concern.