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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Debate on Workplace Safety Bill  CSPAN  April 17, 2021 2:56am-3:57am EDT

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consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. courtney: : --
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mr. courtney: madam speaker, if there is one lesson americans learned from the pandemic is that our nation's health care workers have truly been heroic, putting their lives and health at risk treating and caring for millions of patients suffering from a scary deadly disease. i am sure that every member in this chamber at some point has tweeted, issued statements, held up signs, thanking nurses, e.m.t.'s, doctors, and many other caregivers for their amazing work. but as all those brave workers can attest, there is a second colliding epidemic that they continue to face, namely frightening levels of violence at rates that far exceed those faced by any other sector in our economy. the bureau of labor statistics, which has studied this alarming phenomenon, found that 73% of all violent incidents that happened in american workplaces happened to health care and social assistance employees. year after year b.l.s. tallies tens of thousands of violent
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incidents which could be prevented by the standard required by today's legislation. today we have the power right here in this chamber to prevent these -- this wave of violence by passing h.r. 1195, the workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act. the primary source of this violence comes in the form of assaults. kicking, hitting, spitting, even the use of firearms and other weapons from patients and those who accompany them. h.r. 1195 would require an enforceable workplace violence pretension standard within 42 months after enactment at about 200,000 health care centers, not small doctors offices or clinics. the standard would require covered employers develop a workplace violence prevention plan tailored to the specific conditions and hazard at each workplace, not a one size fits all mandate. since 1996 osha has published voluntary guidelines that recommend many commence measures employers can take to reduce the
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risk and severity of violence incidence. the fact that we continue see an alarming growth in violence, means relying on ad hoc rules is failing. we need an enforceable standard. over the last five years in the last two administrations, despite verbal support for an osha rule, nothing has moved in the rule making process. history shows with no deadline in statute, osha takes 15 to 20 years to issue a standard. in the last administration, despite giving lip service for three years that they were creating a new rule, not one administrative step was taken to protect health care and social assistance workers. i'm going to be very clear. right now over at that agency this issue is dead in the water. every year we fail to address this situation we are condemning thousands of nurses, doctors, aides, e.m.t.'s and social workers to suffer preventable
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injuries on the job. sometimes fate a that's why a huge collation from health care workers from the american college of emergency physicians, e.m.t. association, and many, many more have come together begging congress to enact this bill. no more delays. it is time that congress puts a clock on this issue so that we can get the preventive measures in place nationwide that we know will save lives. i want to thank the chair of the committee, mr. scott, for his great support on this measure. as well as chair adams, the subcommittee chair on workplace protection, as well as my republican colleagues. there actually is some agreement on the basics on this issue. and i lastly just want to thank our outstanding stellar staff, richard miller and jordan who is leaving us shortly at the end of the month for his incredible institutional knowledge and work. and maria from my office. madam chair, i would like to ask
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letters exchanged between chairman pallone of energy and commerce and chairman scott of education and labor be submitted for the record. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i thank my colleague for yielding. madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you. thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in opposition to h.r. 1195. the workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act. ensuring workplace safety for all americans -- all american workers, especially our nation's caregivers, is an issue of the utmost importance and deserving of a serious and thorough solution. i agree with my colleague we all appreciate what health care workers have done. i do every day. but particularly since we have had covid. h.r. 1195 purports to take a
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responsible approach to the issue of workplace violence. legislation that results in a rushed and overly perfect scripive rule that omits -- prescriptive rule that omits important input from stakeholders while driving up compliance costs for already struggling industries is far from a sensible solution. yet that is what we are asked to consider today. workers in the health care and social service industries are at increased risk of workplace violence with the bureau of labor statistics finding they are five times more likely to experience violence in the workplace than workers in other industries. while the threat is real, the response to democrats are proposing to address the situation to further their own partisan agenda is not grounded in reality. workplace violence is already a well recognized hazard by employers and employees in the
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health care and social services industry. according to a 2018 american hospital association survey, 97% of respondants indicated they already have workplace violence policies in place. in addition, the occupational safety and health administration, osha, is already enforcing workplace violence prevention measures. issuing such to employers who fail to provide safe workplaces during both the obama administration and trump administration. the agencies also work on a rule through the standard osha rule making process and has announced plans to initiate a small business regulatory enforcement fairness act panel. a key part of the rule making process that allows the agency to gather valuable feedback from small businesses before a regulation is written. h.r. 1195 is particularly ill-timed and ill-advised as it
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forces osha to issue an interim final rule on workplace violence within one year. which will significantly strain health care facilities that are heroically working on the frontlines responding to a once in a century pandemic. the c.b.o. recently estimated the cost of this bill to private entities will be at least $1.8 billion in the first two years that the rushed osha rule is in effect. and $750 million annually after that. the cost of public facilities will be at least $100 million in the first two years. and $55 million annually after that. financially struggling health care facilities such as rural hospitals that are already at risk of closure cannot afford a rushed and costly government imposed mandate from washington bureaucrats. the house is considering h.r.
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1195 at a time when the biden administration is also considering a burdensome overreaching emergency temporary standard, e.t.s., on covid-19. though osha is weeks behind in deciding whether to issue the e.t.s., handing down two expensive punitive federal mandates on an already burdened health care industry could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. there may be a time and place where workplace violence regulation is appropriate, but now is certainly not it. while i cannot support h.r. 1195, i want to be clear, the safety of our nation's health care and social service workers is not a partisan issue. republicans offered a workable solution at a recent committee markup and we are willing to negotiate with our colleagues across the aisle on a compromise. one that requires osha to
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analyze the rule properly, heed appropriate and necessary input from stakeholders, and launch an educational campaign on workplace violence protection. here we are considering another democrat bill shall pushed through with no republican input. health care workers are familiar with the hypocratic oath. first, do no harm. in its rush to judgment, h.r. 1195 does great harm. by short-circuiting the public input process and prescribing a specific result from the beginning, this bill will not achieve what it aims to accomplish. our health care workers and caregivers deserve an evidence-based and effective solution that protects them in the workplace. h.r. 1195 fails to deliver this result. thank you, madam speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves.
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the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. very briefly. i appreciate that ms. foxx acknowledges the cevaerity of this issue. i think that's important. i would note if anyone checks with the house clerk's office, we actually have a solid number of republican co-sponsors on this bill. i want to make that clear for the record. i appreciate their support as well. with that, madam speaker, i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the chair of the committee on education and labor, an outstanding staunch supporter of this legislation, the gentleman from virginia, bobby scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. scott: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise in support of h.r. 1195, the workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act. over the past year, we have voiced exceptional praise for health care and social service workers. who have risked their lives to care for ourselves and our loved ones. yet for too long we have failed to address the high and growing rates of workplace violence with
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these workers who are regularly beaten, kicked, punched, and sometimes even killed on the job. in 2018 health care workers accounted for nearly three out of four of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses caused by violence. . in 2018 health care workers accounted three out of four of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses caused by violence. many of these incidents are foreseeable and can be prevented by sound workplace violence prevention plans and they work. and when they are implemented, they can reduce workers' compensation claims. yet, the occupational safety and health administration, or osha, still has no enforceable
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workplace standard that requires health care and social service employers to implement violence prevention programs. we have tried voluntary guidance for the past 25 years. yet, still too many employers choose not to follow the best evidence on what is well understood to be authoritative guidance issued by osha. to make matters worse, without action from congress, protections for health care workers and social service workers are nowhere in sight. osha typically takes seven to 20 years to issue a new standard. the recent standard that was adopted a couple years ago was in the works for over 17 years. we cannot ask health care and social service workers to wait any longer, particularly during this global pandemic, when congress has the ability to ensure that osha can act as
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quickly as possible to protect workers' lives. to that end, h.r. 1195 directs osha to issue an interim final standard within one year. one year. and a final standard within 42 months, requiring health care and social service employers to develop -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. scott: 30 more seconds. mr. courtney: i yield the gentleman an additional 15 seconds. mr. scott: 30. the speaker pro tempore: additional 30 seconds. mr. scott: thank you. directs osha to issue an interim final standard within one year and a final standard within 42 months, requiring health care and social service employers to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans. it protects workers from retaliation for reporting assaults to their employers or government authorities. it protects employees of health care facilities, run by state, county, our local governments in the 42 states that are not covered -- where they're not covered by federal, osha or
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state-run osha. i commend the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney, for his leadership, and i urge my colleagues to join us in voting for this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. kelly: thank you, madam speaker. my 25 years in private industry taught me many lessons, one that resonates with me today, is that sweeping mandates with no input from those who will be impacted don't work, no one knows better what the workforce needs to be successful than the workforce itself and it seems to me my colleagues across the aisle have yet to learn this lesson and are rushing and pushing h.r. 1195, a bill that would institute a rushed sweeping initiative that ignores the data and more importantly ignores the people
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it will effect. mr. keller: though h.r. 1195 is founded under the premise of finding solutions for workplace violence, especially for our health care workers and social service workers who are the most susceptible, this bill clearly misses the mark. in tandem, the occupational safety and health administration, osha, also recognizes the risks that our health care and social service workers face in the workplace. however, this rulemaking process should and must account for most important views of impacted stakeholders. there's not a more notable red flag to h.r. 1195 than the fact that the american hospital association came out to oppose it because it would institute additional restrictions to already struggling rural hospitals across the country. to ensure long-lasting policy that can address the complex problem of workplace violence, it's imperative we develop a solution that seeks input from stakeholders and employers that goes through the normal rulemaking process. our health care and social
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service workers have given so much during this pandemic, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their work. moreover, we owe them policy that will improve workplace safety without making it harder for them to do their jobs. we owe it to them to seek their input. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. i just note that the bill language explicitly protects a comment period for all stakeholders, including hospitals and every other institution affected. it's now my honor to yield to the chairlady of the subcommittee on workforce protection, staunch advocate for this bill, congresswoman adams. the speaker pro tempore: sorry. how much time does chef? mr. courtney: one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. adams: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman from connecticut for all his great work on this bill. i rise in support of h.r. 1194. as chair of education and
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labor's workforce protection's committee, i work every day to ensure that all workers are treated with dignity and respect because workers deserve nothing less. our labor laws must be upheld to that same principle. unfortunately, our health care and social service workers face disproportionately high rates of violence on the job. we must do something to address that. and the workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act does just that. this critical piece of legislation requires that osha issue a workplace violence protection standard for employers in these sectors in order to actively prevent, address, and track workplace violence incidents. we've already received -- been heavily on the workers and that has been clearer during the covid pandemic. we must ensure that the -- ensure their well-being as they
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do ours. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: mr. courtney, were you going to give her additional time? mr. courtney: 15 seconds. ms. adams: i want to enter into the record a letter who actively supports this bill. i thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. allen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. allen: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in opposition to h.r. 1195. our health care and social service workers deserve tremendous praise for their work over the past year as they faced unprecedented challenges during the covid-19 pandemic. they also deserve protections as they face a significant risk of
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workplace violence. this complex issue deserves an evidence-based solution, not a rushed, costly, top-down government mandate. unfortunately, h.r. 1195 would prevent workers and stakeholders from giving meaningful input based on experience regarding how to address this highly technical issue. it forces the occupational safety and health administration, or osha, to issue an interim final workplace violence prevention rule within one year, significantly impacting the health care industry as they remain on the front lines of combating this pandemic. i've heard firsthand from my health care facilities, especially our rural hospitals, that the pandemic has caused serious financial struggles and many are already at risk of closure. the c.b.o. estimates this rushed rule will cost private entities at least $1.8 billion in the first two years that the rule is in effect and $750 million
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annually after that. for public facilities, it will cost at least $100 million in the first two years and $50 million after that. the last thing our health care facilities need right now is another costly top-down mandate from washington. our founders envisioned a government by the people. i'm always amazed that the people in this town know more about solving problems for the people on the front lines. we must address this from the bottom up by empowering health care workers, hospital leadership, the scene tifshg community, and the public -- scientific community, and the public have a say in a new comprehensive standard. that's why i oppose this bill today and urge my colleagues to ensure our health care workers are protected in the workplace. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: just to be clear, the c.b.o. score is not per
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facility. that score is spread out over 200,000 health care centers. if you do the math, it's actually $9,000 per year per facility. with that i would now yield one minute to the chair of the subcommittee on civil rights and human services, the gentlelady from oregon, representative bonamici. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from oregon is recognized for two minutes -- one minute. ms. bonamici: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of the workplace violence prevention for health care and social services workers act. the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the increasingly harsh workplace conditions that nurses, doctors, social workers and other health care workers have endured to keep our communities going. but even before the pandemic, health care and social service workers faced a disproportionate risk of on-the-job violence and injuries. a few years ago, two workers in oregon were tragically wounded in a workplace stabbing at an organization that provides essential services to youth who are facing addiction, homelessness, and behavioral health issues.
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following the incident, oregon asked members to organize to improve working conditions that were compromising the services of vulnerable clients and the safety of employees. workers across the country, like the workers in portland, need an evidence-based workplace violence prevention plan tailored to the needs of the vulnerable populations they serve. today we have a chance to support their safety and well-being in the workplace. and madam speaker, i request unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter in support of the legislation from the emergency nurses association. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bonamici: thank you, madam speaker. i thank congressman courtney for his leadership. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. bonamici: i urge my colleagues to support it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. good. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. good: thank you, madam speaker and ranking member foxx.
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memo to my friends across the aisle -- violence, including workplace violence, is already illegal. and it should always be prosecuted. regardless of whether it happens in the name of atva or b.l.m. or even if it's -- antifa or b.l.m. or even if it's against the police officers working to keep us safe. this bill won't decrease it with calls to defund or eliminate law enforcement and correctional facilities. talk about increasing workplace violence, and you wonder why more americans are purchasing firearms to protect themselves with the anarchy you seem to be promoting. speaking of law enforcement, do we actually want to protect police from workplace violence, too, or do we want to continue to increase it with a dishonest narrative that makes it more difficult for them to do their jobs and keep us all safe? but here we find ourselves again today with proposed unnecessary
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workplace legislation intended to punish law-abiding american employers making their lives more costly and more difficult. specific to those who will be most negatively impacted by this bill, in a 2018 american hospital survey, 97% reported they already have workplace violence prevention policies in place. in addition, osha, of course, is already enforcing workplace violence prevention policies. so why are we trying to saddle employers with new regulations estimated by the c.b.o. to cost private entities at least $1.8 billion, that's $1,018 million for my friends across the aisle, and then $750 million annually going forward. where does this money come from these unnecessary mandates? from consumers and higher prices. you may call this hidden tax increases. this is how all regulations are paid for.
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unless they force the organization to go out of business because they can't deal with the cost. the c.b.o. estimates that the cost to build -- excuse me -- the cost of public health care facilities will be $100 million in the first two years. the last thing that financially struggling rural hospitals like those in my district need are more unfunded mandates from washington. while we seem to be far off course today, congress in the past has actually passed statutes that make regulations more accountable, requiring that bureaucrats give public notice regarding new rules and mandates and solicit feedback before implementation. but today, house democrats want to make it easier for osha to issue one-size-fits-all regulations without receiving any feedback from the public. article 1 of the constitution mandates that congress makes our federal laws, not federal agencies and their unelected bureaucrats. congress should make the regulatory process more accountable to taxpayers, and that's why i introduced a bill called article 1 regulatory budget act that would require
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agencies to account for the cost of regulation. i want to thank ranking member foxx for her leadership on regulatory reform with her un -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina -- ms. foxx: i yield the gentleman 15 more seconds, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 15 more seconds. mr. good: in that spirit, i want to thank ranking member foxx for her leadership on regulatory reform with her unfunded mandates accountability and transparency act, and i'm proud to stand with her as we try to shrink the size of the federal government and its negative impact on those we represent. so i oppose this bill, and i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. . mr. courtney: i yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, mr. mrvan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mrvan: first i would like to ask unanimous consent to insert in the record this letter of support for h.r. 1195, the
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workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mrvan: written by thomas conway, the international president of the united steel workers. i appreciate that we are taking action today to support and defend these frontline workers. our health care and social workers who selfishly have chosen their professions in order to serve others and who, at the same time, experience rates of violence 12 times higher than other workers. the united steel workers letter just inserted in the record importantly noted that violent, serious, and life altering incidents should never be a part of the job. in order to begin curbing this epidemic of preventable workplace violence, our health care and social service workers need an enforceable osha standard that addresses violence in the workplace in a comprehensive manner. there is a difference between punishment and safety. and i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this critically important legislation for these individual and valuable workers.
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i thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, h.r. 1195 does not allow for a solid well researched foundation for national workplace violence prevention standard. input from stakeholders is vital as osha undertakes rule making on this issue. in february, 2019 the centers for disease control and prevention, c.d.c., published its research agenda for health care and social assistance. the research agenda identifies the information and actions most urgently needed to improve safety in the industry. the c.d.c. identified the following concerns regarding the current state of research on the issue of health care workplace violence. quote, many existing studies have evaluated workplace
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violence risk factors and prevention measures, but most lack the comprehensive facility and work areas specific perspective that is needed to effectively prevent workplace violence. additionally, many of these studies exam -- examine the effects of training program show little impact on workplace violence incident and injury rates. end quote. we should heed the words of caution from c.d.c. regarding our current knowledge base. we should make sure osha receives input from all perspectives. including smaller health care providers before it enacts a national standard. with that, madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. i now yield two minutes to an outstanding member of the committee on education and labor who worked very diligently to
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prospect the comment process called for in this bill, the gentlelady from michigan, ms. stevens. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. ms. stevens: madam speaker, as i rise in support of the workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act, i pose the question where were you, madam speaker, at 2 a.m. last night when a gunman stormed into a fedex field in indianapolis killing eight colleagues? who did not have a workplace safety plan because their phones were in their lockers, unable to text their loved ones they were alive. this is what we are asking our colleagues op the other side of the chamber this morning as we -- on the other side of the chamber this morning as we debate this very important legislation. when you refuse to change the laws, to enact gun safety in this country, when you refuse to enact a bill that will allow for
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workplace safety prevention plans to be put into place, you are simply accepting the status quo of the perpetuation of violence in our workplaces. we are at a moment of crisis in this country when it pertains to gun violence. we have the testimonies of the doctors and the nurses. this has been extremely well vetted. and madam speaker, i would like to take the moment to submit to the record from the national nurses united for the record, their letter in support of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. stevens: workplaces need violence protection, vote to pass h.r. 1195. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, as we have discussed today, violence --
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workplace violence is a very real and persistent issue for health care and social service workers. the democrat title of h.r. 1195, the workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act, presupposes that the rushed overly perfect scripive and complex federal -- prescriptive and complex federal regulation required by this bill will somehow prevent workplace violence. however, a true solution to violence in the workplace will not be in the form of a federal regulation. rather, a broader bipartisan approach is needed to address the root causes of this serious and complicated issue. according to the american hospital association, increases in assaults in health care facilities are being driven in
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part by growing numbers of behavioral health care patients being treated in emergency departments and other acute care settings. the opioid and drug abuse epidemic is another major contributing factor to workplace violence. as health care workers are often tasked with treating patients that may be under the influence of potent drugs or experiencing their painful size effects. unfortunately, h.r. 1195 does nothing to address these realities. ultimately an osha workplace violence regulation that is written under the standard rule making process will be much more informed and effective because it will require evidence-based input.
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related to behavioral health and opioid abuse that are responsible for many workplace violence incidents. but as i said earlier, we need to roll up our sleeves and develop a comprehensive bipartisan response to address the root causes of this serious and complicated issue. again, i urge my colleagues to oppose h.r. 1195, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: first of all i want to compliment ms. foxx about her very thoughtful remarks about what's driving this crisis out there for health care workers. there is no question behavioral health and the heroin and opioid addiction, we heard this from witness who is testified before our committee. i would respectfully suggest the people who are actually out there, the frontlines, the e.m.t.'s who their association
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has endorsed this bill, and the american college of emergency room physicians the ones right there taking in these very sort of high risk, intense cases have issued a letter of support for h.r. 1195 because they realize that, in fact, that's what this bill will, in fact, create, which is a safer system for better communication, better lighting, not leaving people alone with high-risk patients, which have been identified. all you have to do is talk to any e.r. doc, they will tell you. it is tough out there. and we need to change. we need to have systems in place to better protect them. i would ask their letter of support be admitted for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. courtney: i would yield a minute to another outstanding supporter of this legislation, mr. green from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. green: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, whatever employers are doing in the main
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is not enough. workplace violence is the third leading cause of job death. whatever they are doing is not enough. 20% of registered nurses reported an increase in workplace violence. whatever they are doing is not enough. it is not unreasonable to ask people to have a plan to protect employees. it's not unreasonable to ask them to enforce that plan. and it's not unreasonable to provide for those who report these workplace violence incidents covered in the form of protection from retaliation from reporting. it's just not enough. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: madam speaker, i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. i would also like to enter into the record a letter of support
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from a.f.t.a. union that represents hundreds of thousands of frontline workers, including nurses, across the country. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. courtney: i would now like to yield one minute to my neighbor and good friend from the state of rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: madam speaker, our nation owe as great debt to the health care and social service workers fighting on the frontlines of the covid-19 pandemic. these essential workers treat the ill, administer vaccines, care for the elderly. and respond to emergencies across the country. their efforts are critical to our nation's response to the pandemic f congress has abdicated its responsibility of protecting these workers from violence in the workplace, these workers are almost five times as likely to experience a serious injury from workplace violence than workers in other sectors. that's why i'm proud to co-sponsor h.r. 1195, i want to acknowledge the principal --
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principleled, compassionate leadership of congressman courtney for shepherding this bill to the floor. this legislation would direct osha to issue an intertrim file standard mandating health care and social service employers. this is not a partisan issue. i hope we can all agree everyone deserves to feel safe at work. i urge my colleagues to vote yes. and also, madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to submit a letter from the american public health association in support of the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, the american hospital association, a.h.a. opposed to h.r. 1195 in a letter to education and labor committee members prior to the committee markup last month, a.h.a. stated, quote, because hospitals have already implemented specifically tailored policies
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and programs to address workplace violence, we do not believe that the osha standards requireed the h.r. 1195 are warranted, nor do we support a expedited approach that would deny the public an opportunity to review and comment on proposed regulations. further, a.h.a. explained, the prohibitive cost of the mandate in h.r. 1195 would impose on america's hospitals. particularly on those that provide care in rural and underserved areas could strain scarce resources and jeopardize patient care. these mandates would burden health care providers that are struggling to maintain services during the most deadly public health emergency in 100 years. end quote. madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the american hospital association letter be included in the record.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. foxx: thank you. madam speaker, you know, we are hearing from the people who are on the frontlines, and we have said we want to protect the people on the frontlines. let's listen to the people on the frontlines. with that i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: on page 11 of the bill it specifically states that the plan's proposed to be adopted by osha would be, quote, tailored an specific to conditions and hazards of the cofert service, including patient specific risk factors and risk factors specific to each work area or unit. that is not one size fits all. with that i now yield -- again a member who can really bring very powerful personal experience to this issue. the gentlelady from texas, ms. garcia. the speaker pro tempore: how much time? mr. courtney: one minute. two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. garcia: thank you, madam
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speaker. thank you to the congressman. i am here today to express my support for this very important piece of legislation. this is simple. it's much needed. and it's just a commonsense bill. for my friends across the aisle who think that this is some intellectual exercise we are trying to find some mandate or that we need to listen to the frontlines, i'm here to tell you what happens in the frontlines. it was not yesterday, it was when i was a social worker, a geriatric social worker, we received report of a street child taking care of a senior and they were concerned about the senior and the street child. i went to the door to make an assessment. i knocked on the door. and i was greeted by a saturday night special right in my face. as a social worker just trying to do my job. and she kept saying, you ain't going to take my baby. you ain't going to take my baby.
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and i was scared, scared, and scared never having faced a gun to my face. madam speaker, i know you sure know what i'm talking about because i am sure you had a similar experience. but i was a social worker trying to make an assessment to make sure a senior needed help at home. she confused me for a child welfare worker. this is what can happen. it's happened to me. it happens today. and as representative haley pointed out, it happened at 2:00 a.m. this morning, not to a social worker, but a fedex worker. we must do something to make sure that we can protect workers and that we end workplace violence. this is a small step. it's not an intellectual exercise. it's real. i'm speaking personally and i'm here to stand with social
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workers across america to make sure that we do everything we can to make their job workplace safe and that everyone is protected. thank you, ma'am, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. it's now my honor to yield one minute to the gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: thank you. workplace violence has reached epidemic levels and is the third greatest cause of job death right now. nurses, medical assistants, emergency responders, and social workers face some of the greatest threats suffering more than 72% of all workplace assaults. and women suffer two out of
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every three serious workplace violence incidents. this is unacceptable. we need to protect workers and require employers to put in place effective workplace violence prevention plans. it's simple. make a plan. we need to protect our health care and social service workers who have done so much for us during the pandemic, to care for us, and now we need to care for them. we need h.r. 1195 now. let's come together and get it done. and i would ask unanimous consent to put into the record a -- it's an editorial column from bonnie castillo and also a letter from the afl-cio. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from connecticut reserves.
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the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. may i inquire as to how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina has 11 minutes and 3/4. the gentleman from connecticut has 11 minutes and 1/4. ms. foxx: madam speaker, i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. it's now my privilege to yield one minute to the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. craig. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized for one minute. ms. craig: thank you, madam speaker. just over two months ago, a man walked into an alina health clinic in buffalo, minnesota, and opened fire, killing one employee and injuring four others. on that tragic day, nurses, doctors, social workers, and others were reportedly targeted because of their professions. tragically, the senseless and
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horrific act of violence is representative of a broader trend in our society. today, members of the health care workforce are five times as likely to suffer a workplace injury than americans in other professions. madam speaker, what in the hell are we doing in congress if we're not going to stand up and do anything for our health care heroes and those workers? my colleagues who vote against this bill are ignoring the pleas of the e.m.t.'s and the emergency workers and all of those folks who have been on the frontlines of this health care pandemic. mr. courtney: happy to yield the lady 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: additional 15 seconds. ms. craig: it is our responsibility to step forward and help protect our workers. it is beyond the pale to put our
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heads in the sand as members of congress and say there is nothing that we can do. what the hell are we doing here if we do that? and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, we grieve for anyone who is killed violently in this country under any circumstances. again, that is not a partisan issue. madam speaker, the health care industry is currently in the midst of responding to a once-in a-century pandemic and has prioritizes resources helping patients and keeping its employees safe from covid-19. forcing osha to enter into an interim final standard within one year, as h.r. 1195 requires, will have a devastating impact on the health care industry during the covid-19 pandemic.
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last thing our health care providers need during this unprecedented public health crisis are more costly mandates from washington that will strain resources and personnel and jeopardize patient care. moreover, the biden administration is expected soon to impose new employer mandates in the form of an osha emergency temporary standard for covid-19, and eventually a permanent infectious disease rule, which will have a significant impact on the health care industry. at a time when health care facilities are experiencing massive revenue losses and have invested significant resources into responding to covid-19, the issuance of two new regulations from washington, potentially within months of each other, will be devastating. our nation's health care providers have responded admirably to the pandemic and
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are doing heroic work to keep americans safe and healthy. the house should reject this ill-timed and ill-advised legislation that will inhibit this work and burden the health care industry at exactly the wrong time. with that i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. again, just to clarify, the april 9 c.b.o. report that came out, which, again, cited the numbers which were cited accurately by the opposition, is a number that is spread out over 200,000 facilities across the country. again, if you do the math, we're talking about $9,000 per facility per year. i mean, ask yourself whether or not that figure, you know, weighing the balance of what we're trying to protect here, which is people's health and lives, is worth it. i think most people would apply common sense to that and realize that, you know, that's not going to drive health care costs through the roof. in fact, it's going to protect
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workers and protect them from absenteeism. it's going to protect these institutions from high workers' compensation costs. i mean, it's just common sense. here to join us, again, today -- and i thank her presence here -- is the gentlelady from michigan, ms. tlaib. i yield two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. ms. tlaib: thank you so much. everyone, everyone should feel safe at work. they should be safe at work. i want to give testimony to kenya, who's a 49-year-old certified nursing assistant. i want to bring her words here in the congress to understand what we're trying to do, who we're trying to protect. she said, quote, you don't know if you're going to take the virus home to your family or not. i have two children, 16 and 18, and a 1-year-old grand baby that i worry about all the time. i have a designated place where i take my uniform off and my shoes off to keep my family safe. i come in, i go directly to the
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basement where i already have a change of clothes, strip all my clothes off, put all of my clothes directly into the washing machine. then there's my mom. i'm her only child now. so that's a big scare because who's going to take care of her? it's very scary for my family. they don't want me to go back to work, but i have to go to work because i have to be able to take care of my family and i tell them my residence need me. these are the human stories that the fact that people are asking us, united states congress, to pass legislation that's long overdue to protect workers in some of the most high-stressed, least appreciated positions in our communities. these workers are on the front lines day in and day out serving vulnerable groups and face rates of workplace violence at a -- that are five times the rate of other workers in other communities. and she was expressing in here just a number of the stress of it. and on top of that, workplace violence. and i want for the record, madam
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speaker, if i may, a letter of support on behalf of the over one million health care and social service workers across our country. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. tlaib: these are protections that should have been long been in place and enforced. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and when passed and signed into law, i urge osha to issue the standards necessary to protect these workers. i give that story because on top -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. does the gentleman from connecticut seek recognition? mr. courtney: i yield an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: additional 30 seconds is yielded. ms. tlaib: i give that story of kenya that lives in michigan because on top of all of that, she was dealing with obviously the number of lack of protections in the workplace. and, again, these are people that take care of our loved ones, take care of our sick, take care of those that are mentally ill that need
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assistance, that their family members are not equipped or trained to do. the least we can do, especially during this pandemic, is to offer them more protection and safety in the workplace. i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from connecticut reserves. the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i understand from the gentleman from connecticut that he's prepared to close, and i am, also. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, overbearing regulations burden workers and stifle the economy. preventing workplace violence in health care and social services settings is crucial and we should get this done by allowing osha to issue standards through the normal rulemaking process, which brings all experts and parties, including small businesses, to the table. short-circuiting the process and
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rushing to a conclusion eliminates valuable, technical, and scientific input and will lead to unintended consequences, which could have a detrimental impact on workplace safety outcomes. a bipartisan solution was possible here, but once again, democrats have kicked it to the curb. i urge a no vote on h.r. 1195, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, madam speaker. again, i want to thank the gentlelady from north carolina. and here's the good news. when we started this journey on this legislation back in 2013, a number of us requested a g.a.o. report because we had heard antidotal evidence about the fact health care workers were experiencing this, you know, really disturbing level of violence that was, again, something that people had really never seen before. and g.a.o. took three years,
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very methodically as only they do -- i mean, they are the gold standard in terms of research, and they brought in all the studies and all the evaluation and they verified, sadly, that all the statistics that where he talked about -- that we talked about here on the floor today, 73% of incidents happen in these two sectors, the fact is that they not only verified that but they showed that those numbers are actually underreporting because what's happening out there is that because we don't have any system that people can turn to when they're experiencing this kind of unacceptable behavior, they basically are in a situation where most of the time they just are saying, you know, suck it up, shake it off, that's part of the job, just move on, don't, you know, spend any time on that. so in fact, what g.a.o. told us, the numbers we're seeing in other sort of reports, underreport, in fact, what's going on. again, we took that report, we crafted legislation. we really did accommodate some
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of the issues that we heard talk about on the floor here today about ensuring that there is going to be an adequate comment period for all stakeholders. we want that. i mean, we understand that, you know, the hospital association, just like the emergency room docs, just like the nurses, they all should have a -- their opportunity to weigh in in terms of what is a viable, workable standard. and -- but what we don't need is to have osha just sort of lapse into its notorious, dysfunctional delays in terms of developing a workforce standard. mr. scott ticked off, again, some of the most recent examples. 2017, took 18 years. silica dust the last administration when they came to the committee they said we are going to start the process. we are going to begin a docket in terms of getting rule making. and then the first scheduled date was delayed. and then the second scheduled
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date was delayed again. and on and on and on. right now today as we stand here in this chamber, there is nothing scheduled right now. and really, when you really boil down -- the disagreement exists. i'm happy to acknowledge that. i think it's a meaningful distinction which is we are going to put this agency on the clock. we are telling them that follow the procedures. take the comment, but we are not going to sit back and allow this unacceptable trend to continue unaddressed. that agency was created back in the nixon administration to protect america's workers. you know what? we want you as the branch of government that created you, to develop a standard in a reasonable amount of time. madam speaker, i just want to -- this is not unprecedented. congresses in the past have done this. during the last pandemic, during aids, we, again, saw a blood
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borne pathogen that was totally sweeping hospitals and health care institutions all across the country. and we intervened and put a clock on osha to develop a blood-borne pathogen work force standard. that's why today when you go to the hospitals people are wearing gloves. using disposable needles. all that stuff we take for granted, that was osha. it was congress who told osha to develop that standard. so we are in a situation here today in 2021 where, again, we are seeing something out there that, again, i want to thank ms. foxx, she's not in denial. that's for sure. she really, as i said, thoughtfully talked about what's driving some of this. but the fact is now it's time to act. again i want to thank some of the republican members who came forward, i think -- it's hard. but they came forward and co-sponsored this bill. i hope, madam speaker, the
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experience again, the shared experience of the last year that this country went through is something people will think about when they vote later

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