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House Passes Anti-Business Labor Bill


House Passes Anti-Business Labor Bill; Measure Likely to Die in the Senate

The House on Thursday passed legislation strongly opposed by NAHB that contains dozens of sweeping labor law revisions that would negatively affect the construction labor market at a time of critical skilled worker shortages.

H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, would expand employers’ liability for the labor practices of subcontractors and third-party vendors and narrow the circumstances under which an individual can work as an independent contractor — effectively gutting the contracting business model that serves as the foundation of the residential construction sector.

Prior to the House vote, NAHB sent a letter to the full House designating a vote in opposition to H.R. 2474 as a “key vote” because of its importance to the housing industry.

This organized labor “wish list” bill resurrects bad policies that have previously been rejected by Congress and courts alike, including:

  • Eliminating right-to-work protections nationwide;
  • Stripping employer and employee free choice and privacy in union elections; and
  • Curbing opportunities for independent work and subcontracting.

NAHB’s letter opposing the bill said that the “nation is currently facing a housing affordability crisis, which will only get worse if Congress promulgates misguided policies that force the labor market to contract and inflate the costs of home construction.”

The PRO Act was approved on a largely party line vote of 224 to 194, with just five Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure.

The legislation is expected to die in the Republican-controlled Senate as the chamber is unlikely to consider the bill.