Tim Johnson Watch

Representative Tim Johnson was elected to represent the residents of Illinois' 15th Congressional District in Central Illinois. His constituents should know what he's doing.

Location: 15th Congressional District, Illinois, United States

A concerned citizen of Central Illinois.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hope You Don't Work Anywhere Dangerous....

Tim Johnson's activities last week included down-the-line support for HR 739, 740, 741, and 742, a quartet of conservative bills aimed at weakening OSHA protections for worker safety.

For example, 742 imposes a penalty on the government (i.e., taxpayers) of a business's attorney's fees if the government loses a case (and the business has fewer than 100 employees and is worth less than $7 million), even if the government's position was "substantially justified" or "special circumstances make an award unjust". Why would we want to discourage enforcement of worker safety by penalizing actions to enforce worker safety? Why, in a time of major deficits, would we want to give taxpayer money to businesses in cases where the government has acted in a way that is "justified" and the award is "unjuust"?

740 allows President Bush to pack the three-member Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission ("OSHRC"), which is supposed to be an independent agency (i.e., it is not subservient to the President in the way that, say, the Department of Defense is), with two new members. OSHRC decisions don't get a lot of attention, but if you work in a dangerous job it could make a lot of difference to you whether the Chairman appointed by Bush gets two more votes for his position (which lost 2-1 in March) that OSHA can't require manufacturers to inspect concealed areas of industrial equipment in accordance with manufacturers' recommendations.

(Here's the Washington Post's rundown on these bills.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, TJW, for catching these votes.

What do you know about Johnson's recent Amtrak votes? He voted along with the Republicans to cut Amtrak long-distance routes--this is the right-wing plan to dismantle Amtrak by turning it into short regional routes that will be operated and funded locally. Johnson then flip-flopped to try to explain how hiw vote was good for the 15th district.

Johnson is not representing me in Congress--I believe what's good for the 15th is a strong nation-wide rail system providing a safe, affordable transportation choice to cities small and large.

8:18 AM  

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