GOP may pick up leverage, momentum in NLRB battle

A political maelstrom may soon develop over the National Labor Relations Board, as Senate Republicans might finally have some leverage over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

NLRB chairwoman and Democratic member Wilma Liebman’s term ended this past weekend, bringing the Board’s total membership down to just three members. There are two Democratic members, Craig Becker and Mark Gaston Pearce, and one Republican member, Brian Hayes.

President Barack Obama appointed all three of them, but the Senate only confirmed nominations for Pearce and Hayes. Obama recess-appointed Becker after the Senate rejected his nomination.

Becker’s recess appointment runs out at the end of the year, and the Board would lose its quorum if another member weren’t either recess-appointed or Senate-confirmed by then.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce labor policy expert Glenn Spencer wrote last week that “obviously” the NLRB is “moving quickly to get as much done as possible” before Becker’s recess appointment runs out.

After Liebman’s departure, Spencer reiterated that point: “Between now and then [the end of Becker’s recess-appointed term], the business community can expect rapid-fire regulatory activity from the Board that will negatively impact job creation.”

In an ironic but strategic move, conservative groups like LaborUnionReport.com are calling for Hayes, the lone remaining Republican member, to resign. A Hayes resignation would be part political protest, part procedural disaster for Democrats’ labor playbook. (RELATED: Cantor calls for repeal of Obama administration’s ‘job-destroying regulations’)

If Hayes resigned now, the NLRB would not be able to make any rulings or decisions until the Senate confirmed at least one more member nomination or Obama recess-appointed another member. That’s because a 2010 Supreme Court decision requires the NLRB to have a three-member quorum before it can act on anything.

In a letter to Hayes, LaborUnionReport.com argues it would be patriotic for the Republican to step down from his NLRB post. “Only you, at this moment in time, have the ability to stop this,” the conservative advocacy group wrote to Hayes. “Hopefully, your resignation will help incapacitate the NLRB until after the 2012 elections, when the American people will have the ability to democratically decide the role our government should be playing in propping up labor union bosses.”

If Hayes were to resign, Senate Republicans would be expected to hold the line on new NLRB nominations. And if Congress were to technically remain in session, Obama couldn’t “recess”-appoint another Board member.

Though Congress isn’t meeting right now, it’s not officially in recess. House Speaker John Boehner is keeping the House technically in session. That means Obama can’t make any recess appointments without Congressional approval.

Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government told The Daily Caller that a Hayes resignation would put pressure on Congressional Republicans. “Of course, if Mr. Hayes were to resign, Mr. Hayes’ resignation would be futile if the Senate confirms someone to take his place,” Manning said.

Republicans could also cut a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Becker’s nomination. They could agree to approve Becker’s full term if Reid were to life his opposition to Obama’s nomination of a second Republican NLRB member. Obama nominated Republican Terence Flynn to serve on the NLRB member in January, but Reid has blocked his confirmation.

That kind of situation would restore an bipartisan balance to the NLRB: two Republicans and two Democrats. “The ultimate irony is, because of President Obama and Majority Leader Reid playing partisan political games to avoid a 2–2 split on the NLRB board, if Hayes resigned they would be faced with an inactive NLRB,” Manning said. “That’s called sweet political irony.”

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  • remmy

    RESIGN!!!  Please stop the madness.

  • Russ_boq

    Why don’t we just make all unions illegal? Get rid of the 40hr work week, OSHA, child labor laws, minimum wage, and all federal laws prohibiting job discrimination, all EPA mandates.

  • Anonymous

    yess, RESIGN HAYES. At least it would make these thugs ineffective at least for a while..It would piss Reid and Obama off so badly. hahahahahahha

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-Girnau/100000088336554 Andre Girnau

    the nlrb epa and other government agencys have no legal authority to even make regulations everyone in America should tell them to take a hike only congress can make laws or regulations any regulations made from these agencys should be disregarded as viloations of our rights

  • joeaiello

    The GOP hates middle class working Americans and wants to de-unionize them and outsource their jobs overseas. That’s what corporate pac money tells Republicans to do. If you are a working American, why would you ever vote for these monsters?

    • thephranc

      Unions consist of a scant 12% of the work force with most of those being government workers. Hardly representative of the working class.

      Why do you lie about these things?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B2VFFRN4AI3WVTHL5SAMKISWJA Jess Think'n

      joe,  Do you atually believe your own drivel?  Middle class working Americans represent the majority of the GOP electorate.  They’re the base of the party!  Are you sure you want to discuss the base of the democratic party?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-Girnau/100000088336554 Andre Girnau

      No Joe we hate the evil that unions do they were created to take on the crony cpitalists but now the crony capitalists with a few exceptions like buffet and soros are the crony capitalists working people dont need unions to get decent wages anymore only idios would try to work people for nothing the reason things are so high in fact is because of unions if they didnt exist we could start lowering prices clear across the board

  • Go Obama 2012

    Let’s see if we can’t hamstring ourselves into a new revolution where the right and the left refuse to compromise because someone’s feeling will get hurt or is it that we’re Americans and we can do everything if the government gets off our backs and out of the way or if the government gives just a little help and aid to those who need help or if government screws the 55 and older crowd from any retirement benefits since they’ve probably lost that upper-level management job a few years ago and are overqualified for anything else and are worth 60% less today than 3 years ago. Bring back the Bush year’s of easily accessible credit that pulls people away from really being free. Bring back the last 20 years of debt ceiling increases by Democrats. Bring back the last 20 years of debt ceiling increases by Republicans. Let the union management, not the workers, keep screwing everyone but themselves. They’re beyond reproach and that needs to change. Union management needs to be simplified. So many unions no longer represent the workers. Many represent the small manging body to ensure that no new costs are felt by them – on the backs of the workers and out of the pockets of greedy corporations and governments(that’s us, the people) Give me some shared sacrifice by the unions and the greedy corporations…we’re still a young country. Maybe one day we can all get together and decide what is in our best interest vs. what’s in my best interest…

    • StargazerInSavannah

      There are good days for the American people when no law is passed!  One should never underestimate the benefits of stalemate.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B2VFFRN4AI3WVTHL5SAMKISWJA Jess Think'n

      Hey Go…… Are you, through your screen name, encouraging Obama, or hoping he goes in 2012?   In the same state of confusion, your comment  has all the focus of an exploding 
      popcorn popper.  Corporations are owned by millions of individuals, many charities, most universities, local and state government retirement funds, teacher’s retirement funds, mutual funds benefitting many moms and pops, churches and their congregations,even union funds; and it’s the responsibility of all these publicly owned “greedy” corporations to make as much money for their owners as possible.  Seems to me, you ought to try to get in on some of the action – might make you more able to appreciate the sublime interactions of our system of commerce in this country.  Open your vistas – invest.  Who knows you might enjoy it.