Democrats Again Refuse to Help Stauber End Horrific Practice of Child Slave Labor

June 10, 2021
Press Release
During a full Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup, the majority blocked Stauber’s provision to help end U.S. reliance on child labor after a heated two-hour debate.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, during a full Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup on Speaker Pelosi’s purely partisan surface transportation legislation, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) led several commonsense amendments including one to combat the tragic practice of child labor.

During this markup, Democrats broke from the decades-long tradition of bipartisanship surrounding transportation and infrastructure negotiations and blocked almost every Republican amendment, including Stauber’s commonsense provision to help end child labor.

Specifically, Stauber’s amendment would ensure that child labor is not the source of critical and rare earth minerals needed for the shift to renewable energy infrastructure that the Democrat bill calls for.

Of this amendment, Stauber stated, “The unfortunate truth is that many of the technologies which Americans enjoy today are made with minerals sourced by child slaves in countries like the Congo. This is unacceptable. Rather than continue to rely on nations that exploit child labor, we must hold our nation to a much higher standard and empower American workers to responsibly source these critical minerals here under the best environmental and labor standards in the world. Ending child labor should not be a partisan effort and it remains a mystery to me as to why my Democrat colleagues continue to turn a blind eye to these abuses.”

During the debate on the amendment, Chairman DeFazio and Democrats tried to let nations that utilize child labor off the hook by offering a watered-down version of Stauber’s amendment that would ultimately do nothing to prevent this human rights abuse.

Listen to Stauber’s remarks during debate, HERE.

Democrats also blocked Stauber’s amendment that would crack down on protesters who damage infrastructure projects that are completed or under construction, like a pipeline or the equipment used to construct the pipeline.

Of this amendment, Stauber stated, “This amendment is especially relevant as just this week, thousands of protesters traveled to Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District with the intention of halting construction on the Line 3 replacement pipeline and putting a stop to good-paying union jobs. The unlawful actions of many of these protesters put the lives of law enforcement officers and workers at risk. When faced with the choice of putting the safety of our workers first or catering to the most extreme in their party, I am disappointed to say that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle once again chose the latter.

229 amendments were submitted during this markup and only a handful were adopted. Of those, Stauber was one of the only Republicans to have an amendment pass.

The committee voted to pass Stauber’s amendment which adds Davis Bacon prevailing wage laws to the installment of charging stations throughout the country.