I am sure it is of no surprise to you, but Congress is on a campaign to control every aspect of our lives. It is mostly Democrat-driven, but we have Republicans on board with this too. It is so much easier to tell people what to do, than to protect people’s right to live as they choose, and craft legislation that benefits this.
Whether through legislation or the courts, lawmakers are leaving no stone unturned that would allow your and my freedoms to remain intact. They desire to neuter your right to vote as you choose and for your vote to be properly validated and counted. They desire to limit your ability to produce and earn as you see fit, and only want certain types of enterprise or employment to be considered essential and acceptable. This process was started during this awful COVID-19 pandemic, and there is legislation (along with a Supreme Court case) on the table that if passed and rendered law, aims to finish it.
House Resolution 1, the “For The People Act of 2019” passed the House with little Republican support.
— L.A. Daily News (@ladailynews) March 4, 2021
According to this glowing take by the Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Daily News):
“House Democrats passed sweeping voting and ethics legislation over unanimous Republican opposition, advancing to the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation.
“House Resolution 1, which touches on virtually every aspect of the electoral process, was approved Wednesday night on a near party-line 220-210 vote. It would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system that allows wealthy donors to anonymously bankroll political causes.
“The bill is a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s repeated false claims of a stolen 2020 election. Yet it faces an uncertain fate in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it has little chance of passing without changes to procedural rules that currently allow Republicans to block it.”
Consider it the Roe v. Wade of election fraud: instead of wholesale permission to murder children, this act is wholesale permission to murder the American republic. There is every protection for efforts that are known to erode election security, but no protections of your vote or voice. Instead of government, of, for, and by the people, it is government for the highest bidder and the most connected.
It is antithesis to what our Founders intended.
Thankfully, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has already stated she plans to block it, and wrote a very concise thread on Twitter explaining why.
If you liked the way the 2020 elections were run, you will love HR 1
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 4, 2021
The “Voting-Rights” Bill does nothing to secure elections, it only increases the possibility of election fraud.
For Democrats, it’s about power—I will be putting a hold on this legislation. 2/
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 4, 2021
HR 1 bans state voter ID laws. Voter ID requirements are common throughout democratic countries around the world. 4/
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 4, 2021
Another piece of legislation that Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) plans to bring back for a House vote is H.R. 842 (formerly H.R. 2474), the “Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019” or PRO Act. The PRO Act is the national version of California’s AB5—on steroids. The bill doesn’t seek to protect anything but the Labor Unions ability to force you into whatever form of “employment” of which they think you should participate, so that they can force you into collectively bargaining towards their ends. Gotta pay for the Union bosses massive salaries and pensions, and this requires people paying Union dues. Since Janus v. AFSCME put the kibosh on Unions forcing public employees to pay dues and supported their First Amendment right to opt out, Big Labor has been doubling down on their efforts to destroy independent professionals ability to exist, let alone pursue the profession they desire. The goal is to force more people to live under their so-called employment protections.
In 2001 I published a novel, Up in the Air, about a man who flies around firing people. In 2009 it became a movie with G Clooney in the role. In 2021 a federal law, the #PROact , now in congress, will “fire” in an instant more freelancers & ICs than 10,000 Clooney characters
— Walter Kirn (@walterkirn) March 3, 2021
How do they plan to do that? By instituting an antiquated ABC Test that requires you prove that you should be an independent contractor. If you meet all three prongs of the ABC Test, then you are allowed by this law to be an independent contractor. Your ability to take the steps to properly train and maintain professional experience and credentials, or your choice to work in the way you choose is of no consequence or consideration. If you fail even one prong, you are an “employee”, not independent.
Now, on March 8, Congress will vote on #PROAct, a clone of #AB5 that would apply to EVERY state. Like AB5, PROAct has a benign sound to it (who would be against the "protection of the right to organize"?) but hides the fact that it will outlaw working for yourself in America. 3/
— Lisa Rothstein #NOPROAct #RepealAB5 4 #Freelancers (@davincidiva) March 3, 2021
As shown by AB5, very few are able to pass all three prongs of this test, which is why the poorly crafted California law is shot full of holes with exemptions, most notably AB2257, which, among other things, removed a cap of 35 submissions per outlet for freelance writers and journalists.
— Annie Logue #FightForFreelancers (@annielogue) March 2, 2021
I will break it down for you. I contracted with RedState in October of 2020. Had California lawmakers not voted in, and Governor Gavin Newsom not signed the AB2257 exemption to that AB5 mandated 35-Cap into law in September 2020, I would have had to stop working for RedState in January of 2021. Between November 2020 and March 2021, I have written over 235 articles. Depending on the publication or outlet, I could do 35 articles over several weeks to a month. How is anyone able to work under those constraints? For the creative professional, it is near impossible.
However, the PRO Act allows no such exemptions, so the pyrrhic victory that California journalists and writers had with that exemption will be eliminated if H.R. 842 is passed through Congress. During the 2020 campaign, both Biden and Harris expressed their support for AB5 and the PROAct, so if it gets through the Senate, it will be signed into law by this administration.
Hello to my reps @SenFeinstein @SenAlexPadilla @RepTedLieu Self-employed business owner here. I’m a professional, earning a good income on my own terms. Worked hard to build my biz, making more than I ever did as an employee. I have a lot of say in my career: 1/
— Briana Sharp #FightForFreelancers (@Briana_Sharp) March 3, 2021
Now we have freelancers, small businesses, and national journalists who ignored California’s “problems” begging their Congress critters to not vote for this law, or to gut the ABC Test.
Good luck with that. This is what you voted for, even though you were warned not to.
Elections have consequences.
I bookend this with the Arizona voter integrity case currently being decided in the United States Supreme Court. This case is also supposedly about “protecting” voter rights, namely some of the provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
From the Guardian:
“The case, Brnovich v Democratic National Committee, involves a dispute over two Arizona measures. One is a 2016 law that bans anyone other than a close family member or caregiver from collecting absentee ballots, sometimes called ballot harvesting. The second is a measure that requires officials to reject ballots cast in the wrong precinct, even if the voter has cast a vote in statewide races.
“Arizona rejected more than 38,335 ballots cast in the wrong precinct between 2008 and 2016 and minority voters were twice as likely as white voters to have their ballots rejected, the DNC noted in its brief. Minority voters, including the state’s Native American population, are disproportionately harmed by the ballot collection ban because they are more likely to lack reliable mail service.”
Interesting assessment. How about not having any voting by mail? How about the DNC and the RNC fighting to get proper precincts on Native lands and in minority neighborhoods? How about actually educating on what it takes to vote and helping to prepare these populations to vote, rather than propagandizing on a certain party platform while demonizing another?
H.R. 1, the PRO Act, and this Supreme Court case are being framed around protections for people and their rights. What it really boils down to is controlling people’s ability to access and exercise their God-given and Constitutional rights.
How is it protecting my voting rights when you allow unchecked opportunities for corruption to abound? When you invalidate my vote while you hold up fraudulent ones? I take the time to educate myself on the electoral process, the candidate stances, and how and where I need to cast my vote. So do millions of Americans of color. Why should we be penalized for doing things properly, and others supported when they do things improperly, just because of their race or ethnicity? It’s dead wrong.
How about making Civics Education great again? The weight and responsibility of voting rights would be better understood if this was the case.
But, no, it is easier to control people and their vote when they become dependent upon you to tell them what to do and how to do it. Stacey Abrams and the results of the Georgia runoff election is a glaring example, and should be a cautionary tale of what is to come if such laws get passed.
How is taking away my right to choose the type of professional life I want and with whom I choose to contract protecting me?
As an independent contractor, I don’t want a “living wage”, I want a wage that matches my skills and experience—and that’s more than $15.00 an hour—much more. I can dictate the wages that match my experience and output, and I don’t need a union to help me to do this. I can earn enough money to buy my own insurance and benefits, and in the past, I have. What makes you think I want or need your so-called Union protections?
As an independent contractor, I am not required to work with anyone I don’t choose to. If I were an employee that would not be the case. Over the 36 years of my professional life, when I was an employee, I have had a ton of horrible bosses and horrible coworkers. That is part of the reason why I chose to be an independent contractor. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the majority of people with whom I have fulfilled contracts, which is why I, and others, choose to do it. It’s a pleasure to not only be able to do what you love, but also love the people with whom you get to work. That is all too rare, and when you have it, it is a privilege that you fight to protect, and the people that you elect should be just as intent on protecting it.
Instead, forcing people into a paradigm of employment and wage-earning is their methodology. These structures they choose to create through their deliberately punitive legislation has no basis in the dreams, professional skill set, hard work, or sacrifice required to be an independent contractor or small business owner. In fact it is the polar opposite. Take another look at how the egregious “climate Czar” John Kerry and the ridiculous Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg cavalierly assumed skilled pipefitters who were thrown out of work thanks to Joe Biden’s executive order killing the Keystone XL Pipeline could learn to install solar panels. To this bunch we are simply widgets to be fitted and rearranged into the utopian fantasy of workers they wish to create.
It’s also very lucrative. Go to FollowtheMoney.org or the FEC website, and see how much money these Labor Unions pour into both Democrat and Republican campaigns. Trust me, none of them want that gravy train to cease. It benefits the lawmakers and the Union bosses, while disenfranchising the American people.
What gives Congress the right to think they can control me or you? What makes Congress think that they need to “protect” me or you?
Finally, why does government assume that they are even capable of controlling or protecting anyone?
If this pandemic has proven anything, it’s that government intervention and overreach creates more train wrecks and problems than it ever solves. Government’s draconian interference through deceptive legislation and lawsuits serve to blow up the very foundations that make us productive, safe, and free, leaving human shrapnel in the wake.