Why Not Confirm the Pending NLRB Nominees to the Board?

As noted at Shopfloor yesterday, many labor groups are pressuring President Obama to seat Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) via a recess appointment, despite objections from the Senate. Some have questioned the validity of the Board’s current quorum and have argued that with only two members the Board is crippled. However, if the Senate truly feels that the Board needs an unquestionable quorum to be successful, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), who serves at the Ranking Member on the Senate HELP Committee, lays out an easier option: Confirm the two pending nominees.

From a Feb. 9 floor statement:

I wish to point out that there is another way. There at three current vacancies at the National Labor Relations Board, and the HELP Committee has unanimously approved the President’s other two nominees. If the Senate wanted to confirm two new members to the Board, it could have easily done so today. [February 9, 2010] In fact, it could have done so last year. One of these nominees, Mark Pearce [a Democrat], is a labor-side attorney who has spent his career representing labor unions. The other is a Republican nominee with management-side experience in addition to tenures on the staff of the National Labor Relations Board and in the Senate as my labor policy director, Brian Hayes. Yet these nominees did not inspire objections from HELP members on either side of the aisle.

It is disingenuous to suggest that the only way that the Board can function properly is through the controversial action of a recess appointment. If the Senate wants to ensure the effective operation of the NLRB, Senator should move to confirm the other two nominees now awaiting confirmation.

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