Anyone care to offer a defense of this? (Franken amendment)

30 Senators, all Republicans, voted against an amendment offered by Senator Al Franken that that would punish contractors if they “restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”

Seriously, what are they thinking? The precipitating incident was a female KBR employee who was allegedly gang raped while in Iraq. The company first threatened to fire her if she left Iraq for medical treatment, then claimed that her employment contract called for secret arbitration.

The woman sucessfully argued that a gang rape had nothing to do with her employment contract.

So fully 75% of the Republican members of Congress think that it is a bad idea to, very specifically per the amendment offered, legislate this:

  • None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention. *

Sure, he attached it to another appropriation bill having nothing to do with it. Therefore anyone voting against the bill wants to kill puppies and rape women.

I know that this does happen frequently, but … cite?

This article might do it.

It describes both Franken’s arguments for the amendment and Sen. Session’s arguments against it.

It is a defense appropriations bill, and the amendment refers explicitly to defense appropriations.

Thank you for your input.

It’s an amendment tacked on to make anyone who opposes the bill look bad. Take any bill that you know your opponents object to and attach a dead-puppy-clause to it. This bill could be attached to a highway fund with the words “highway workers” and it would read the same. You’re being punked by a comedian who makes fun of people for a living. What don’t you understand about this?

It was a real case with a real victim and some really vile ethical bottomfeeding by KBR. This is a good amendment and actually shouldn’t even need to be created if actual human beings with half a conscience were in charge of defense contracting firms.

So. Can you defend this with anything other than “Franken’s a clown! Minnesota sucks!”?

I don’t buy it at all.

Pretty much all civil rights legilation, including ADA, violates this argument. I have seen no movement by Senator Sessions to revoke these laws.

So you are saying that 75% of Republicans opposed the defense appropiations bill before the amendment was attached, and now are being made to look like ogres it because of this amendment? I’m quite sure that is not true, but keep defending it if you think it is.

I’m saying if Franken was serious he would have introduced it as a stand alone bill or tacked it on to something that would easily pass.

To be clear, was the vote of those 30 senators against the bill this was attached to, or was it against attaching the amendment to the bill in the first place? Magiver’s objection really only applies to the first case.

But its not a vote on the bill itself, hence no such risk is entailed. The vote was on the amendment itself, whether or not it might be included in the bill. Its entirely possible one might vote against the amendment (for reasons that surpasseth all understanding…) and still vote for the final, unamended bill, and vice versa.

One might think anyone who voted against the amendment looks bad, for solid and worthy reasons.

So you are saying that this bill would not have passed easily if not for this amendment? Please justify this with actual data. What, exactly, would 75% of Republican Senators object to in this routine appropriations bill?

This is an entirely appropriate place to place this amendment.

If you vote for the ammendment and against the bill it still gets shilled on the net as a dead-puppy vote.

The fact that the amendment was GOOD LAW doesn’t matter to you, does it? Only how the typically immoral Republican politics would be made to look bad.


The 30 senators voted against the amendment, not for the final bill yet. I understand that it would be silly to criticize the vote of a congress critter for a bill that has a controversial amendment or a rider in it. But this was a vote regarding the amendment.

The 30 republicans already voted in favor of the “dead-puppy”.

Last I heard, Al Franken made a living as a US Senator, elected by and representing the people of Minnesota. What don’t you understand about this?

Perhaps you mistake him for Michelle Bachmann, a Representative also from Minnesota, who makes a mockery of the position she holds.

You still haven’t offered any reason why this amendment was opposed by 75% of Republicans. Your one and only attempt (post #2) was completely false.

Okay, Magiver, let me re-ask the question in the OP, specifically directed at you.

Can you possibly defend a vote to allow employees to bring charges of actual physical crimes committed against them by co-workers to a court of law? Or are you going to try to defend what amounts to complete servitude to one’s employer, including say-so over whether or not one can get legal redress for injuries to one’s person? Ignore what you consider to be the motivations of Senator Franken. Just look at the amendment itself. Can you defend a decision to oppose this amendment on the merits?

It’s a non-sequitur amendment because you can’t write off liability in a contract. It’s like the back of a parking garage ticket that says the owners are not responsible for theft or damage to your car. The person that Franken talked about was able to take it to court.