After our long and costly battle against AB5 last year and after succeeding in our efforts to get an exemption with the passage of AB2257, independent contractors are once again facing a legislative threat. We're referring to the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a pro-union federal version of AB5 which would significantly restrict our ability to work as independent contractors.
This month, the PRO Act passed in the U.S House with a 225-206 vote, with five Republicans joining Democrats in favor of it. It is now in the U.S. Senate, which currently has 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and 2 Independents caucusing with Democrats. Vice-president Kamala Harris acts as the tie breaker.
We've been referred to an experienced lobbyist in D.C. and we asked him what the chances of the PRO Act passing in the Senate are. This is what we've been told.
1. It's unlikely, that the PRO Act would pass in the Senate today as long as the filibuster rule is in place. The filibuster basically allows the Senate minority to block a bill introduced by the majority, and in order for the majority to break the filibuster, 60 Senate votes are needed. If Republican Senators were to filibuster today against the PRO Act, it's unlikely that Democrats would get the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster and allow the PRO Act to move forward in the Senate.
2. Democrats are currently considering ending the filibuster in the Senate, a move which could be accomplished by a simple majority. In recent days, President Biden has said that he's open to reforming the filibuster or eliminating it entirely if there's a complete lockdown and chaos as a result of it. More here on this: In a shift, Joe Biden endorses a 'talking filibuster' to change Senate rules
3. If the filibuster is no longer in place, the chances of the PRO Act passing in the Senate would significantly increase.
We'll be following the political events in D.C. closely and update you if there are any new developments.