Democrats seek avenues to bypass Republicans, advance agenda

Congressional Republicans have made it their mission to control the U.S. from the minority and obstruct the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats at every turn.

AFL-CIO Director of Government Affairs Bill Samuel discussed how Democrats are working around obstruction tactics, an ongoing coal miner strike in Alabama and what it is like getting back into work after COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted.

Coal miners strike

Samuel said the striking coal miners in Alabama need to stay strong and not let up. He likened it to a strike he was a part of in the 1980’s.

The strike he referenced was a nearly year long and revolved around Pittston Coal Company cutting healthcare benefits for 1,500 retirees, widows and disabled coal miners. The company would not let up until the then Republican Secretary of Labor stepped in and got the company to return to the negotiating table.

Samuel said the strike attracted national attention, with labor leaders from throughout the U.S. flying in and subsequently being arrested for their involvement in the strike. Following plenty of civil disobedience, the union’s demands were met and the strike ended.

President Biden’s agenda

Samuel said President Biden needs to get his infrastructure plan passed soon. While infrastructure used to be bipartisan, today’s Republicans have offered a much smaller package that will likely offer a fraction of the projects.

Republicans like to leave infrastructure up to state lawmakers to decide on. However, some areas are falling so far behind that a federal plan is needed.

On other agenda items, Republicans have shown no willingness to work with Democrats. Republican leaders such as Senator Mitch McConnell have stated they will block the Biden administration on all fronts. This led Samuel to urge Democrats to get rid of the filibuster. It is undemocratic to allow the minority party to hold the majority of Americans hostage.

Returning to work

As more Americans are vaccinated, the AFL-CIO and other Washington D.C. area offices are reopening to employees.

Samuel said it is a nice change of pace to see coworkers and others in the office. Additionally, Capitol Hill meetings have resumed. Just yesterday Samuel and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka met with lawmakers in-person to discuss legislative goals and more.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.