AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who previewed his labor federations legislative agenda for the 112th Congress, said he would fight efforts to extend the President George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. Trumka also plans to fight spending cuts proposed by the federal deficit commission.
The lobbying has been focused not just on Capitol Hill, but also on federal agencies. Those agencies could be particularly important if there is gridlock in Congress, according to labor officials. Labor groups have been paying close attention to agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Labor Relations Board, which have become more aggressive under Obama.
Earlier this year, Obama rewarded organized labor by making a recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB. Becker’s Senate confirmation had been held up by Republicans who criticized him for being a union activist.
But even as they keep an eye on the regulatory process, union officials said they will not ignore what the new Congress is doing.
“We are going to be as aggressive as we can on Capitol Hill,” said Bill Samuel, the AFL-CIO’s legislative director.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.