Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) withdraws support for “Save America’s Pastime Act”

Anna Webber/Getty Images
26 Comments

On Wednesday, we learned about a proposed bill — the misleadingly-titled “Save America’s Pastime Act”, or H.R. 5580 — that aimed to change wording in Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which would let teams continue paying their minor leaguers minuscule wages. The legislation was proposed by Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL).

As news of the bill went viral on Wednesday, many contacted Bustos through Twitter, Facebook, and other means. Bustos heard the feedback and, as a result, has withdrawn her support for H.R. 5580.

Her statement read:

“Minor League baseball teams are an important part of the economic and social fabric of communities across our nation, including the Quad-Cities and Peoria, in our Congressional District,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “In the last 24 hours, several concerns about the bill have been brought to my attention that have led me to immediately withdraw my support of the legislation.

Sports have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and while it’s important to sustain minor league baseball teams that provide economic support to small communities across America, I cannot support legislation that does so at the expense of the players that draw us to stadiums like those in the Quad-Cities and Peoria.

Whether it’s on the factory floor, in classrooms or on the playing fields of one of America’s revered traditions, I strongly support raising the minimum wage and the right to collective bargaining for fair wages, and I believe that Major League Baseball can and should pay young, passionate minor league players a fair wage for the work they do.”

Kudos to Rep. Bustos for being willing to listen to feedback and alter her position on a bill with which she was directly involved.

As of this writing, Guthrie hasn’t said anything further about the legislation.