Representative Dennis Ross: Loose Cannon?

By Richard Thayer

Federal employees would be wise to keep their eyes on freshman representative Dennis A. Ross (R-FL). The newly minted House representative from Florida and proud member of the Tea Party Caucus, is the newly appointed chairman of the recently overhauled House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on the federal workforce, U.S. Postal Service and labor policy.

When speaking of the federal budget, his favorite word is “cut.” Asked recently by Joe Davidson of The Washington Post what his top priorities would be as chairman of the subcommittee, he replied, “We have got to cut. We’ve got to cut. We’ve got to reduce the federal workforce budget. We have to.”

Like a majority of House Republicans, Ross believes the two-year freeze on federal pay won’t be enough and may require five years, at least. He believes the federal workforce is too large now and that one way to improve the budget is to lay off more workers. This, he says, can be done without hurting service.

When it comes to the Postal Service, he says he is anxious to “help” (emphasis mine) the Postal Service stop losing money and is willing to consider its proposal to cut delivery to five days. Nothing was said of the USPS’s pre-funding burden that costs it over $ 5 billion annually.

Before becoming a junior House rep this year Ross was an attorney for Walt Disney World where he made his money defending Disney against employees who filed workers’ comp claims.

Of his previous life experiences leading up to now he says, “I have faced the unions before in the courtroom, but look, I’m not pushing for the eradication of labor unions. I’m pushing to make sure we have a strong balance between the needs of labor and the demands of the market.”

I believe most of you can read between the lines here. When he says “balance” he means a balance that favors the “demands of the market,” which can be read as the “demands of corporations,” like Disney World.

Ross says he expects to meet with federal union representatives soon, but not to “expect a love-fest.”

That’s Representative Dennis A. Ross of Florida, the Republican Party’s latest crusader against labor.


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