Today Congressman David Scott (GA-13) anchored a special order hour on the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME, a case that threatens the freedom of Americans to join together in strong unions. Joined by 16 Members of Congress standing up for working people across the country, Congressman Scott championed the critical role unions have played in building and protecting the middle class in America. A transcript and video clips are included below from the special order.
Click here to watch video of Congressman Scott’s opening remarks.
To view video of the full hour of the Special Order on Janus v. AFSCME, click here. Member speakers included Representatives David Scott (GA), Bobby Scott (VA), Dwight Evans (PA), Danny Davis (IL), Barbara Lee (CA), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Yvette Clarke (NY), Keith Ellison (MN), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ), Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Lisa Blunt Rochester (PA), Val Demings (FL), Denny Heck (WA), Mark Takano (CA), and Jan Schakowsky (IL).
Transcript of Congressman David Scott’s Opening Statement
“Mr. Speaker, it is with great honor that I stand to anchor this Special Hour because, Mr. Speaker, this nation is faced with a very serious threat. As a matter of fact, it is a devious threat to the labor unions, our great labor unions that have played a most fundamental role in establishing the greatness of the economy of our great nation.
“And this evening, first I want to thank the Chairman of the CBC, Mr. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, for his great leadership. And I appreciate him giving me this opportunity to anchor this Special Hour. Mr. Speaker, I also want to thank the staffs of the CBC, with Ms. Caren Street, who has worked very closely with my staffer, Ms. Seema Ibrahim, who has done a remarkable job.
“Our whole team of many Congressmen from every sector of this country, every part of this country, is going to come before this House of Representatives, in these next 60 minutes to explain and expose to the American people two important things.
“First of all, we want to illustrate with our deep understanding of the great value of the labor unions to this great country. We also want to expose the great threat that is now being faced by our labor unions. And the first group of our labor unions that’s facing this threat are the public sector unions, most pointedly, because in a matter of a few weeks, the Supreme Court will take up a case, Janus v. AFSCME. This Janus case is designed to remove what has already been established as the constitutionality of public service unions to be able to mandate fees and dues for their membership. This will be a catastrophic threat to the survival of the unions. And so we want to explain that. We want to also share the greatness of this. And so this is where we are.
“And I want to ask those who are listening over C-SPAN tonight, all across this country, call a neighbor, call a friend, tell them to tune in and listen to these members of Congress pour out the truth about what’s at stake with this Janus court case that will be coming up before the Supreme Court. The first union that will be dealt with is AFSCME. But it’s far more than just AFSCME. It’s the public sector unions that will be ruled as whether it’s constitutional or not for them to have dues, to be able to pay. This case comes from an individual, Mr. Janus in Illinois, who disagreed with the political endorsements.
“Well, what’s important to understand going forward, Mr. Speaker, is that the constitutionality has already been upheld. And on top of that, if there’s any union member who does not agree with those political endorsements, he has a right to get a financial rebate for that part of the dues that would go to political endorsements.
“So, if Mr. Janus is concerned – if Mr. Janus’s concerns have been dealt with, then why this case? And that is the Achilles heel that will prove the deviousness of what’s before us.”