President Obama on Wednesday renominated Craig Becker, the former SEIU and AFL-CIO counsel and Big Labor expansionist, to the National Labor Relations Board. Labor leaders have been miffed — or expressed their miffedness as a political feint — over the President’s comments about the burden of regulations and his overtures to employers. Still, we doubt Becker’s reappointment is an overt gesture meant to appease labor. Becker’s name was on a long list on renominations; any President sticks by his appointments or risks looking weak.
The President originally nominated Becker to the NLRB on July 9, 2009, and after the Senate returned the nomination to the White House at the end of 2009, made the recess appointment in April 2010 (and subsequently renominated him). This latest renomination is required to keep Becker’s recess appointment in effect through the end of 2011.
Becker is known for his radical writings that argue employers should have no voice when unions attempt to organize a workplace, as well as his view that aspects of the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act can be implemented through rules, without approval by Congressional policymakers. On the NLRB, there have been occasions when Becker should have recused himself from decisions because of a clear conflict of interest, but he went ahead and supplied his pro-union vote anyway.
Becker’s appointment created an NLRB majority that views business first as offenders rather than employers, undermining the Administration’s claims to be promoting job creation. Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation before, and we see no indications Becker’s nomination has somehow become more politically palatable. Nor should it. Becker is a pro-labor activist serving on what should be a balanced quasi-judicial panel.
The recess appointment expires Dec. 31, 2011. Good.
Recent coverage …
- Bloomberg, “Union Lawyer Becker Re-Nominated by Obama to U.S. Labor Board“
- Washington Examiner (blog), “Obama re-nominates radical union lawyer“
- Lane W. Imberman, McKnights, “Labor pains: Craig Becker’s troubling prescription for long-term care facilities“
- Katie Gage, Workforce Fairness Institute, Townhall.com, “Do Bureaucrats Know Better Than You? The NLRB Thinks So“
- Carl Horowitz, National Legal and Policy Center, “Will NLRB Create Stealth Pro-Union Legislation?“