Warner Todd Huston
Harry Reid's push to nationalize all cop/firemen unions
By Warner Todd Huston
June 3, 2010

Senate Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid is quietly trying to nationalize rules governing every police, fire and first responder union in the nation. Through the benignly named Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R.413) Reid wants all first responders represented by collective bargaining rules emanating from Washington D.C. Naturally he thinks that it is necessary as a matter of national security.

Reid is pushing this monstrosity as a major sop to his union supporters who will greatly benefit from nationalized rules for police and fire unions. This plan would replace with federal rules all state laws on collective bargaining between state and local governments and their first responder unions and would greatly empower unions to dictate pay scales and benefits on a national level.

Imagine the loss of control that local governments will face when first responder unions no longer have to deal with local rules and laws but can force a federal one-size-fits-all style rule on all local governments. Local governments will no longer be able to determine pay scales and benefits and will lose control of their own ability to budget. Reid's plan will also completely remove the ability of voters to have any say in local matters as a top down control from Washington will rule the day where it concerns local police, fire and other first responders.

Also remember, if a local government wants to fire a policeman or fireman they now have to deal with local laws and home-based unions. If H.R.413 passes no local government will be able to fire a cop or fireman without appealing to the federal government, a source far, far removed from the local area and a source completely unfamiliar with the needs and interests of that local area.

Unfortunately, there is a large contingent of Republicans supporting this nanny state, big government take over. Many think that what they are doing is leveling the playing field for all first responders and setting rules that can govern them equally. In this age of terrorism when our first responders are so important it almost makes sense. After all, wouldn't it be smart to have our first responders treated regularly across the nation so that we can rely on them for their services?

It almost makes sense. That is until you think about it harder.

In truth this law will wildly inflate the costs of our police and fire protection to state and local governments. With a nationalized set of rules the high costs of large governments will be visited on the smallest, first responders will no longer be under any local control at all, union bosses will gain outsized powers to control local government budgets and costs will soar as a result. And who can't imagine this is the first step on the road to a national fire department, a national police force or other such bloated country-wide force controlled by politicians in Washington D.C. And imagine the soaring costs of court cases as these union disputes become federal cases in every instance.

H.R.413 also outrageously violates the most basic tenet of American politics: local control. This is the worst example of statism, one that must be defeated.

Conservatives need to tell their Representatives to drop their co-sponsorship of this un-American attempt to nationalize our police and fire departments. After all, Big Labor is keen to force this bill through Congress this session. If Big Labor is hot on this one, how can any Republican in good conscience support this thing?

Republican Co-Sponsors

  • Rep. Judy Biggert [R, IL-13]

  • Rep. Brian Bilbray [R, CA-50]

  • Rep. Vern Buchanan [R, FL-13]

  • Rep. Dan Burton [R, IN-5]

  • Rep. David Camp [R, MI-4]

  • Rep. Shelley Capito [R, WV-2]

  • Rep. Geoff Davis [R, KY-4]

  • Rep. Charles Dent [R, PA-15]

  • Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart [R, FL-21]

  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R, FL-25]

  • Rep. John Duncan [R, TN-2]

  • Rep. Jo Ann Emerson [R, MO-8]

  • Rep. Elton Gallegly [R, CA-24]

  • Rep. Jim Gerlach [R, PA-6]

  • Rep. Samuel Graves [R, MO-6]

  • Rep. Duncan Hunter [R, CA-52]

  • Rep. Timothy Johnson [R, IL-15]

  • Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3]

  • Rep. Peter King [R, NY-3]

  • Rep. Mark Kirk [R, IL-10]

  • Rep. Leonard Lance [R, NJ-7]

  • Rep. Steven LaTourette [R, OH-14]

  • Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R, NJ-2]

  • Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R, MI-11]

  • Rep. John McHugh [R, NY-23]

  • Rep. Candice Miller [R, MI-10]

  • Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA-18]

  • Rep. Thomas Petri [R, WI-6]

  • Rep. Todd Platts [R, PA-19]

  • Rep. Ted Poe [R, TX-2]

  • Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R, MT-0]

  • Rep. Dave Reichert [R, WA-8]

  • Rep. Michael Rogers [R, MI-8]

  • Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16]

  • Rep. Peter Roskam [R, IL-6]

  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-18]

  • Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1]

  • Rep. Timothy Ryan [D, OH-17]

  • Rep. Aaron Schock [R, IL-18]

  • Rep. John Shimkus [R, IL-19]

  • Rep. William Shuster [R, PA-9]

  • Rep. John Sullivan [R, OK-1]

  • Rep. Lee Terry [R, NE-2]

  • Rep. Todd Tiahrt [R, KS-4]

  • Rep. Patrick Tiberi [R, OH-12]

  • Rep. Michael Turner [R, OH-3]

  • Rep. Frederick Upton [R, MI-6]

  • Rep. Zach Wamp [R, TN-3]

  • Rep. Edward Whitfield [R, KY-1]

  • Rep. Donald Young [R, AK-0]

Democrat Co-Sponsors

  • Main Sponsor: Dale Kildee [D, MI]

  • Rep. Gary Ackerman [D, NY-5]

  • Rep. John Adler [D, NJ-3]

  • Rep. Jason Altmire [D, PA-4]

  • Rep. Robert Andrews [D, NJ-1]

  • Rep. Michael Arcuri [D, NY-24]

  • Rep. Joe Baca [D, CA-43]

  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin [D, WI-2]

  • Rep. John Barrow [D, GA-12]

  • Rep. Melissa Bean [D, IL-8]

  • Rep. Shelley Berkley [D, NV-1]

  • Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28]

  • Rep. Robert Berry [D, AR-1]

  • Rep. Sanford Bishop [D, GA-2]

  • Rep. Timothy Bishop [D, NY-1]

  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D, OR-3]

  • Rep. Dan Boren [D, OK-2]

  • Rep. Leonard Boswell [D, IA-3]

  • Rep. Robert Brady [D, PA-1]

  • Rep. Bruce Braley [D, IA-1]

  • Rep. Corrine Brown [D, FL-3]

  • Rep. Lois Capps [D, CA-23]

  • Rep. Michael Capuano [D, MA-8]

  • Rep. Dennis Cardoza [D, CA-18]

  • Rep. Russ Carnahan [D, MO-3]

  • Rep. Christopher Carney [D, PA-10]

  • Rep. Ben Chandler [D, KY-6]

  • Rep. Judy Chu [D, CA-32]

  • Rep. Yvette Clarke [D, NY-11]

  • Rep. William Clay [D, MO-1]

  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [D, MO-5]

  • Rep. Steve Cohen [D, TN-9]

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly [D, VA-11]

  • Rep. John Conyers [D, MI-14]

  • Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5]

  • Rep. Jerry Costello [D, IL-12]

  • Rep. Joe Courtney [D, CT-2]

  • Rep. Henry Cuellar [D, TX-28]

  • Rep. Elijah Cummings [D, MD-7]

  • Rep. Kathleen Dahlkemper [D, PA-3]

  • Rep. Lincoln Davis [D, TN-4]

  • Rep. Artur Davis [D, AL-7]

  • Rep. Danny Davis [D, IL-7]

  • Rep. Diana DeGette [D, CO-1]

  • Rep. William Delahunt [D, MA-10]

  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D, CT-3]

  • Rep. Norman Dicks [D, WA-6]

  • Rep. John Dingell [D, MI-15]

  • Rep. Joe Donnelly [D, IN-2]

  • Rep. Michael Doyle [D, PA-14]

  • Rep. Steve Driehaus [D, OH-1]

  • Rep. Keith Ellison [D, MN-5]

  • Rep. Brad Ellsworth [D, IN-8]

  • Rep. Eliot Engel [D, NY-17]

  • Rep. Anna Eshoo [D, CA-14]

  • Rep. Sam Farr [D, CA-17]

  • Rep. Bob Filner [D, CA-51]

  • Rep. John Garamendi [D, CA-10]

  • Rep. Gabrielle Giffords [D, AZ-8]

  • Rep. Charles Gonzalez [D, TX-20]

  • Rep. Barton Gordon [D, TN-6]

  • Rep. Alan Grayson [D, FL-8]

  • Rep. Al Green [D, TX-9]

  • Rep. Raymond Green [D, TX-29]

  • Rep. Parker Griffith [D, AL-5]

  • Rep. Raul Grijalva [D, AZ-7]

  • Rep. Luis Gutiérrez [D, IL-4]

  • Rep. John Hall [D, NY-19]

  • Rep. Deborah Halvorson [D, IL-11]

  • Rep. Phil Hare [D, IL-17]

  • Rep. Alcee Hastings [D, FL-23]

  • Rep. Martin Heinrich [D, NM-1]

  • Rep. Brian Higgins [D, NY-27]

  • Rep. Baron Hill [D, IN-9]

  • Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D, NY-22]

  • Rep. Mazie Hirono [D, HI-2]

  • Rep. Paul Hodes [D, NH-2]

  • Rep. Tim Holden [D, PA-17]

  • Rep. Rush Holt [D, NJ-12]

  • Rep. Jay Inslee [D, WA-1]

  • Rep. Jesse Jackson [D, IL-2]

  • Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D, TX-18]

  • Rep. Henry Johnson [D, GA-4]

  • Rep. Paul Kanjorski [D, PA-11]

  • Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D, OH-9]

  • Rep. Patrick Kennedy [D, RI-1]

  • Rep. Ronald Kind [D, WI-3]

  • Rep. Frank Kratovil [D, MD-1]

  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10]

  • Rep. James Langevin [D, RI-2]

  • Rep. Rick Larsen [D, WA-2]

  • Rep. John Larson [D, CT-1]

  • Rep. Barbara Lee [D, CA-9]

  • Rep. Sander Levin [D, MI-12]

  • Rep. John Lewis [D, GA-5]

  • Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3]

  • Rep. David Loebsack [D, IA-2]

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D, CA-16]

  • Rep. Nita Lowey [D, NY-18]

  • Rep. Ben Luján [D, NM-3]

  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D, NY-14]

  • Rep. Jim Matheson [D, UT-2]

  • Rep. Doris Matsui [D, CA-5]

  • Rep. Carolyn McCarthy [D, NY-4]

  • Rep. Betty McCollum [D, MN-4]

  • Rep. James McDermott [D, WA-7]

  • Rep. James McGovern [D, MA-3]

  • Rep. Kendrick Meek [D, FL-17]

  • Rep. Gregory Meeks [D, NY-6]

  • Rep. Michael Michaud [D, ME-2]

  • Rep. Bradley Miller [D, NC-13]

  • Rep. George Miller [D, CA-7]

  • Rep. Walter Minnick [D, ID-1]

  • Rep. Gwen Moore [D, WI-4]

  • Rep. Dennis Moore [D, KS-3]

  • Rep. Christopher Murphy [D, CT-5]

  • Rep. Patrick Murphy [D, PA-8]

  • Rep. John Murtha [D, PA-12]

  • Rep. Grace Napolitano [D, CA-38]

  • Rep. Eleanor Norton [D, DC-0]

  • Rep. James Oberstar [D, MN-8]

  • Rep. John Olver [D, MA-1]

  • Rep. Frank Pallone [D, NJ-6]

  • Rep. William Pascrell [D, NJ-8]

  • Rep. Edward Pastor [D, AZ-4]

  • Rep. Donald Payne [D, NJ-10]

  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter [D, CO-7]

  • Rep. Gary Peters [D, MI-9]

  • Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7]

  • Rep. Pedro Pierluisi [D, PR-0]

  • Rep. Chellie Pingree [D, ME-1]

  • Rep. Earl Pomeroy [D, ND-0]

  • Rep. David Price [D, NC-4]

  • Rep. Mike Quigley [D, IL-5]

  • Rep. Nick Rahall [D, WV-3]

  • Rep. Laura Richardson [D, CA-37]

  • Rep. Ciro Rodriguez [D, TX-23]

  • Rep. Mike Ross [D, AR-4]

  • Rep. Steven Rothman [D, NJ-9]

  • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D, CA-34]

  • Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger [D, MD-2]

  • Rep. Bobby Rush [D, IL-1]

  • Rep. Linda Sánchez [D, CA-39]

  • Rep. John Sarbanes [D, MD-3]

  • Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D, IL-9]

  • Rep. Mark Schauer [D, MI-7]

  • Rep. Adam Schiff [D, CA-29]

  • Rep. Allyson Schwartz [D, PA-13]

  • Rep. David Scott [D, GA-13]

  • Rep. Robert Scott [D, VA-3]

  • Rep. José Serrano [D, NY-16]

  • Rep. Joe Sestak [D, PA-7]

  • Rep. Carol Shea-Porter [D, NH-1]

  • Rep. Brad Sherman [D, CA-27]

  • Rep. Heath Shuler [D, NC-11]

  • Rep. Albio Sires [D, NJ-13]

  • Rep. Adam Smith [D, WA-9]

  • Rep. Victor Snyder [D, AR-2]

  • Rep. Zachary Space [D, OH-18]

  • Rep. Jackie Speier [D, CA-12]

  • Rep. Bart Stupak [D, MI-1]

  • Rep. Betty Sutton [D, OH-13]

  • Rep. John Tierney [D, MA-6]

  • Rep. Paul Tonko [D, NY-21]

  • Rep. Peter Visclosky [D, IN-1]

  • Rep. Timothy Walz [D, MN-1]

  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20]

  • Rep. Diane Watson [D, CA-33]

  • Rep. Melvin Watt [D, NC-12]

  • Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30]

  • Rep. Peter Welch [D, VT-0]

  • Rep. Robert Wexler [D, FL-19]

  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey [D, CA-6]

  • Rep. David Wu [D, OR-1]

  • Rep. John Yarmuth [D, KY-3]

© Warner Todd Huston


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Warner Todd Huston

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