Monday, March 29, 2010

Recess appointments made to National Labor Relations Board

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President Obama during the weekend announced recess appointments for two seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Both appointees, Craig Becker and Mark Pearce, are Democrats; a third nominee, Brian Hayes, a staffer for Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), was left behind to be voted on by the Senate.

Three of NLRB’s five seats have been vacant for at least two years; the recess appointments will last only until the end of this year, as opposed to the normal four-year term bestowed NLRB appointees approved by the Senate.

Themove came despite warnings from Republican senators to the President not to use the upcoming Easter recess to make such a move. Becker’s appointment in particular was seen as controversial, and has been stalled after failing a Senate cloture vote last February.

A letter signed by all 41 Senate Republicans suggested the Senate should confirm the two other NLRB nominees, Pearce and Hayes, with the President dropping Becker’s appointment. Republicans consider Becker too pro-union because of his work with the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO.