Lankford Works to Overturn New Biden Regulation Threatening Oklahoma Independent Contractors

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final worker classification rulethat threatens the gig economy and jeopardizes the ability of 27 million Americans to work as independent contractors. This comes as the DOL final rule was released earlier this year. US Representative Kevin Kiley (R-CA) introduced the companion CRA resolution in the US House of Representatives.  

Independent contractors, or freelancers, make their own hours to fit their schedule and decide where and how they want to work. The Biden administration rule attempts to restrict the ability of American workers to be an independent contractor and take advantage of the flexibility it provides. The rule creates a non-exhaustive, six-factor litmus test for unelected bureaucrats to interpret and decide who is and who is not classified as an independent contractor. It also casts as large a net as possible and gives less legal certainty to independent contractors impacted by the regulation. 

“The Biden Administration is trying to force businesses and workers to operate like it is 1950 rather than 2024. More and more workers want the flexibility and the power to be their own boss as an independent contractor, but President Biden wants to force them into union contracts or employee status,” said Lankford. “Oklahoma workers and employers should have more flexibility, not less, in their choices of which types of jobs they want to pursue and hire. We should stop this rule to keep the Biden Administration‘s overreach away from Oklahoma workers and businesses.”

“The Biden administration’s priority should not be to do whatever makes it easier to forcibly and coercively unionize workers. It should be to increase individual freedom and opportunity,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This new Biden rule does the opposite, jeopardizing 27 million workers’ ability to make their own hours and make a living without being pressured into joining a union.” 

“Gavin Newsom and Julie Su’s AB 5 severely restricted independent contracting in California, destroying thousands of livelihoods and harming California’s economy. As Acting Secretary of Labor, Su and the Biden Administration have announced a new Department of Labor rule, modeled after on the same job-killing AB 5 that will cost millions of independent professionals across the country their livelihoods while restricting the freedom of many millions more to have flexible work arrangements. Our legislation under the Congressional Review Act nullifies this terrible regulation and protects independent contractors,” said Representative Kiley. “Washington should support workers, not regulate them into oblivion.” 

“Independent contractors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses are fed up with the Department of Labor continually breathing down their necks,” said Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “The bicameral Congressional Review Act resolution led by Representative Kiley and Senator Cassidy offers Congress the opportunity to take a unified stand against the Department’s thirst for more government control over America’s workforce. Entrepreneurial opportunities and flexibility should be encouraged, not extinguished with heavy-handed mandates from the federal government.” 

Lankford and Cassidy are joined by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in cosponsoring this resolution.