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Biden Administration Faces Backlash for Holding Back $800 Million from Florida Amid Union Disagreement


The Biden administration is under fire for reportedly holding back $800 million in federal funds from Florida, supposedly in reaction to a state law that unions oppose.

Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana condemned the administration, alleging that it was unfairly using its authority to benefit political allies at the expense of American workers. Cassidy called on Acting Department of Labor Secretary Julie Su to justify the legal withholding of funds.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a complaint in October 2023, asserting that the Department of Labor threatened to withhold federal funding unless the state abandoned reforms enacted through SB 256.

The law, signed in 2023, focuses on public employee unions and workers’ rights to join or leave them, including provisions against unions deducting dues from members’ salaries, which faced significant opposition among public worker unions.

Biden criticized for withholding $800M from Florida; Senator Bill Cassidy accuses administration of political favoritism.

Biden criticized for withholding $800M from Florida; Senator Bill Cassidy accuses administration of political favoritism.

Moody argued that the Florida statute doesn’t abolish collective bargaining rights but merely ensures workers’ freedom to choose union membership.

She emphasized that the Biden administration interprets federal funding eligibility conditions to restrict Florida from enacting reasonable regulations governing collective bargaining, a stance contested by Senator Cassidy, who highlighted the constitutional right to join unions in Florida.

Senator Cassidy, besides requesting the Department of Labor’s legal analysis, sought clarity on the criteria for determining “fair and equitable” arrangements for workers and communication regarding the funding decision. He also questioned why a temporary waiver couldn’t be issued.

Cassidy insinuated that the administration’s action might be aimed at pleasing political allies, especially as President Biden seeks to consolidate union support for the upcoming 2024 election, in the face of former President Trump’s efforts to court union workers.

The situation revolves around a conflict between Florida’s enacted law aimed at reforming public employee unions and the Biden administration’s interpretation of federal funding eligibility conditions. This clash reflects broader tensions over labor policies and political strategies concerning union support, with both sides asserting their commitment to workers’ rights and interests.

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