Chris Wallace Gives GOP Terminology For Employee Free Choice Act

[media id=7046] (h/t Heather) We've known for some time that Fox News is merely the propaganda arm for the GOP. However, they usually couch their par

(h/t Heather)

We've known for some time that Fox News is merely the propaganda arm for the GOP. However, they usually couch their partisanship with claims of being "fair and balanced" and token ineffectual Democrats. But Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace was perhaps a little unintentionally forthright about where his loyalties lay in Sunday's interview with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Congress's priority to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

WALLACE: Big Labor’s top priority is what’s called “union card check” and that would be eliminating the right to a secret ballot in determining whether or not you’re going to organize, unionize a working place. [laughs] I love the way you’re smiling already. Are you going to move on that in the first month?

HOYER: I’m smiling because of the way you phrased it. It’s the Free Choice Act, of course, and what it does is …

WALLACE: Well, “union card check”, Free Choice, both sides have their euphemisms.

HOYER: Of course, and you use one side. That’s why I was smiling…[laughs]

WALLACE: And you used the other.

Sadly, Wallace obviously has access to the GOP talking points soundbytes that the Democrats are never savvy enough to replicate. Nice, neat, and sound sensible if a little weak on facts. "Union card check" sounds like something a Dem-voting life-long union member would be leery of. But Hoyer never retorts in a way that eliminates this fear. The Employee Free Choice Act simply gives the employees the right to decide whether to unionize, rather than the company. It's easy to understand and say, right? But instead, Hoyer gives this mush-mouthed reply:

HOYER: Well, okay, my point being that we believe that one of the problems that has existed in America is that working people have had a very, very difficult time in getting represented by unions in the work place. Work place has resisted that. The NLRB has not been very vigorous in assuring the lack of unfair labor practices. We believe that the employees…if over 50% of them sign and say that we want to be represented by a union, they ought to be able to be represented by a union. Let me say that many, many employers currently, under existing law, recognize such signatures right now and start to bargain and have a union representative.

C'mon, guys, it's bad enough that you go on Fox, can't you do a little prep work to be able to respond to the Republican framing first?

Transcripts below the fold:

WALLACE: Let’s talk about the rest of your agenda. There’s talk that you want to move quickly on what’s called “low hanging fruit,” to pass the measures that could get bipartisan support and move through Congress quickly. Expansion of the State Children’s Health Program, or S-CHIP.

HOYER: We’re looking at…we passed that bill as you know, through the House handily. It passed through the Senate with two-thirds majority and it was vetoed by the President. We think it’s critical to move quickly on ensuring that children in this country have availability of health care. So yes, that’s going to be an early bill for us. I’m not going to put a time frame on it, but I expect to see that bill early. There’s some other things that we have to do. We’re going to complete the ‘08/’09 appropriations process, that needs to be done early. We’re going to address the Lily Ledbetter and the pay equity issues…

WALLACE: That’s to give women more time to sue for pay equity.

HOYER: That’s correct. So that women are not precluded, or others are not precluded from recovering damages simply because they don’t know what their fellow employees are making, and that they’re being discriminated against. When they find out, they ought to be able to have the opportunity to get redress of that grievance.

WALLACE: Big Labor’s top priority is what’s called “union card check” and that would be eliminating the right to a secret ballot in determining whether or not you’re going to organize, unionize a working place. [laughs] I love the way you’re smiling already. Are you going to move on that in the first month?

HOYER: I’m smiling because of the way you phrased it. It’s the Free Choice Act, of course, and what it does is …

WALLACE: Well, “union card check”, Free Choice, both sides have their euphemisms.

HOYER: Of course, and you use one side. That’s why I was smiling…[laughs]

WALLACE: And you used the other.

HOYER: Well, okay, my point being that we believe that one of the problems that has existed in America is that working people have had a very, very difficult time in getting represented by unions in the work place. Work place has resisted that. The NLRB has not been very vigorous in assuring the lack of unfair labor practices. We believe that the employees…if over 50% of them sign and say that we want to be represented by a union, they ought to be able to be represented by a union. Let me say that many, many employers currently, under existing law, recognize such signatures right now and start to bargain and have a union representative.

WALLACE: Whatever you call it, Senator, are you going to pass it in the first month?

HOYER: I don’t know about the first month, but we’re going to pass it early.

WALLACE: You had talked about…when we last talked about this, in November, you talked about the possibility of a compromise that would recognize the fact that there should not be unreasonable delays in giving an election, but on the other hand, maybe not taking away the secret ballot from workers in a company. Is there a compromise out there? Or are you prepared to take away the secret ballot?

HOYER: Again, let me stress, Chris, nobody is going to take away the secret ballot. The employees currently have and will have the opportunity to opt for a secret ballot. They don’t have to sign the card. They can say, look, we’ll have an election and we may vote, but they have that choice right now and will continue to have that choice.

WALLACE: But you want to pass the bill, just to be clear here, that unions, that labor, AFL-CIO is talking about, the Employee Free Choice Act, which would create a one step system, a public vote on whether or not to unionize?

HOYER: A public vote? You mean a signing of the card which says I want the union to represent me…

WALLACE: Yes. Right.

HOYER: What I have said, and I said it on your program, and will reiterate, that bill that passed the House handily is certainly going to be the base bill. Will there be discussions? They may well be discussions and again, I want to stress, nobody is precluding having a secret ballot. What we are saying is that an alternative route will be available and if employees choose to sign, over 50% of the employees sign a card saying we want to be represented by the union then that will be effected.

WALLACE: Give me a sense of the timeframe. You said maybe not the first month, how soon?

HOYER: Well, I think it will be early. It will be early in the year, certainly in the early spring. Right now, obviously, our major, major focus is getting people back to work, getting our economy moving, making sure that our working people can get back to work and we start creating those three million jobs President-elect Obama has talked about. So that’s a priority item for us.

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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