Talk about raising the stakes: Bronx Democrat Eliot Engel says that thanks to the Republican Party there may now not be an NFL season.
At issue is the Republicans effort to strip funding for the National Labor Relations Board and possibly shut it down entirely. As Engel notes, in 1995, after the Major League Baseball season was suspended due to a player’s strike, it was the NLRB which requested an injunction which enabled then-District Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to rule on the matter.
“It was not collective bargaining that brought those players back on the field; it was the National Labor Relations Board,” Engel said. “Today, the National Football League stands on the precipice of its own lost season as the owners prepare to lock the players out. They have already filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union with the NLRB. However, Republicans have targeted funding…If Republicans got their way, it is likely the NLRB would have insufficient resources to properly mediate a dispute between the owners and players. That would result in stadiums across the country being dark, and thousands of people who work in them out of work come September. “
Adds the congressman: “In its effort to curb the rights of working men and women, the Republicans may also be doing away with the 2011 National Football League season.”
Although we can’t speak to merits of Engel’s argument, we can say that raising the spectre of a lost football season is a pretty surefire way to get redstate members of Congress to fall in line.