NAM Explores Political Future of NLRB Composition

At its Shopfloor blog, the National Association of Manufacturers today revisits the status of the various nominations and appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

President Obama nominated Member Craig Becker — a former professor and attorney for SEIU and the AFL-CIO — to the Board back in July of 2009. In February 2010, the Senate failed to pass a cloture motion on Becker’s nomination, by a vote of 52-33, and it was returned to the President. The President subsequently recess appointed him to a Member’s seat, and re-submitted his nomination in January 2011, generating a significant amount of opposition including from Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

NAM notes rumors that the President may nominate Member Becker to the vacated seat of current Chairman Wilma Liebman whose term expires this summer. A subsequent recess appointment to that vacancy, following another defeated nomination, may allow Member Becker an unconfirmed position on the Board through the end of the next session of Congress.

President Obama has also nominated Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon to serve a full four-year term as GC. From NAM’s assessment of where things may go:

No Senate confirmation hearings have been scheduled for Becker, Solomon or President Obama’s nominee to fill a Republican vacancy on the board, Terence F. Flynn, current counsel to NLRB Member Brian Hayes (a Republican).

Standard operating, political procedure in the Senate would be to delay these confirmation hearings as long as possible. But in light of the board’s recent radical decisions, it might be better to schedule the Senate HELP Committee hearings as soon as possible to air out the NLRB’s political, pro-union agenda.

As for the House, we anticipate a renewed push by Republicans to defund the agency. The effort led by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) was stopped during the February budget debate by a vote of 176-250. ….

You can read the entire post here.