Alexander: Republican Majority is Stopping Washington Threat to 15,000 Tennessee Franchise Owners

Posted on August 24, 2017

“After 8 years of a radical labor agenda in Washington, the Republican majority in Congress is starting to make significant changes that roll back job-destroying policies. Republicans have a real opportunity to help workers succeed in the rapidly changing workplace.” – Lamar Alexander

NASHVILLE, August 24, 2017 – Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today the new Labor Secretary and new members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will stop Washington’s threat to 15,000 Tennessee franchise owners.

“The new Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, is already rolling back so-called ‘joint employer’ policies that would harm small business franchise owners. The Republican Senate is confirming new members to the National Labor Relations Board who will help restore the board to a neutral umpire,” Alexander said. “After 8 years of a radical labor agenda in Washington, the Republican majority in Congress is starting to make significant changes that roll back job-destroying policies. Republicans have a real opportunity to help workers succeed in the rapidly changing workplace.

On April 27, the Senate confirmed Acosta to serve as Labor Secretary – and Tennesseans are fortunate to have a Labor Secretary who understands how a good-paying job is critical to helping Tennessee workers realize the American dream for themselves and their families. One of the most important things Secretary Acosta has done is announce he is reworking the Obama administration’s harmful overtime rule – that would have raised college tuition, cut non-profit services and sent the nation's workers backwards, demoting millions back to punching a time clock.”

“On August 2, we confirmed Marvin Kaplan to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he wants to bring the nomination of another Republican appointee to the NLRB, William Emanuel, to the floor when the Senate returns in September – which will create a Republican majority for the first time in nearly a decade. Filling these open seats on the NLRB will restore the board to its purpose of acting as a neutral umpire and help stop Washington’s attack on 15,000 Tennessee franchise establishments.”

Alexander continued, “The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) 2015 ‘joint employer’ decision is the biggest attack on the opportunity for small businessmen and women in this country to make their way into the middle class that we’ve seen in a long, long time. The decision has threatened to steal the American dream from the owners of the nation’s 744,437 franchise businesses—including 221,970 restaurant establishments— and millions of contractors.”

“Another upcoming priority will be confirming a Republican to replace the current Obama-appointed NLRB General Counsel whose term ends this November.”

Today, Alexander spoke to restauranteurs from across the state at a roundtable hosted by the Tennessee Restaurant Association and the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Alexander – who serves as chairman of the Senate health committee – also discussed hearings he will hold the first week in September to help Americans in the individual market.

“There are a number of issues with the American health care system, but if your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire. In this case, the fire is in the individual market, where 350,000 Tennesseans and millions of others across the country  -- these are songwriters, farmers, the self-employed – face the real prospect of having zero options to buy insurance in 2018 and 2019 or, if they do have insurance to purchase, they may find premiums and deductibles might have gone up so high it’s like they don’t even have insurance because they can’t afford to use it,” Alexander said. “Both Republicans and Democrats agree on this, which is why I’m committed to find a short-term solution for stabilizing the individual market to ensure Americans in the individual market have affordable options for health insurance next year.”

Yesterday, Alexander announced Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee’s state insurance commissioner, Julie McPeak, will serve as witnesses at bipartisan U.S. Senate health committee hearings in September.