After bipartisan momentum in states, House call center bill gains supporters across ideological spectrum

A story in the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call, “Lawmakers push new bills to deter call centers from leaving the US,” highlights the recent House and Senate introduction of the federal anti-offshoring call center bill, the “US Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act” (S.1792 and H.R. 3219). The article captures how the federal call center bill comes after growing momentum in state legislatures, noting that “states, urged on by advocates for US workers, have been fighting back” against the trend of offshoring in the call center industry. The article then notes:

The momentum is now shifting to Congress, where Democrat Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has reintroduced Senate legislation to require employers planning to outsource a call center to notify the Labor Department at least 120 days before they do. In the House, Republican David B. McKinley of West Virginia and Democrat Mark Pocan of Wisconsin have a companion bill. Companies that don’t provide notification could be hit with fines and barred from receiving federal grants or loans for five years.

At the state level, call center legislation has passed in both Democratic- and Republican-controlled legislatures in 2019. For example, both legislative chambers in Alabama unanimously passed a bill to stop taxpayer dollars going to companies that offshore call center jobs, while the New York Call Center Jobs Act passed the New York Assembly in June by a 93-19 vote after earlier passing the New York Senate by a 58-3 vote. Other states passing call center-anti-offshoring bills since 2018 include Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, and Nevada. (See here for a visual overview of state call center momentum in 2019).

The bipartisan support for addressing the issue at the state level also is evident on Capitol Hill – take a look at the list of sponsors and co-sponsors on the House bill. In addition to the bipartisan duo of bill sponsors Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), current House co-sponsors include a range of Members across the ideological spectrum: Republican Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME).

According to Shane Larson, Director of Legislation, Politics and International Affairs at the Communications Workers of America (CWA), “The bipartisan list of House backers of the call center bill represent a diverse range of districts across America and viewpoints across the ideological spectrum. What brings them together is their shared recognition that the call center bill is a common-sense approach that would stand up for American workers and consumers and ensure that taxpayer dollars don’t reward offshoring companies.”

Links:

After bipartisan momentum in states, House call center bill gains supporters across ideological spectrum (CWA, Jul. 15, 2019)