Republican congressmen demand documentation from NLRB on effects of proposed $50 million cut

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Republican Reps. John Kline and Phil Roe issued a letter to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman Wilma Liebman Thursday requesting evidence to support Liebman’s claim that a $50 million budget reduction would cause the agency to shut down.

Republican congressmen are weighing a reduction of the NLRB’s budget from $283 million to $233 million.

Liebman co-wrote a letter with NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon on Februrary 18, warning that “Nearly all of the agency’s budget is spent on salaries and rents; there are no programs to eliminate or postpone.”

According to the February letter, “The only way to meet this extreme and immediate reduction would be to furlough all of the NLRB’s 1,665 employees for 55 workdays, or nearly three months, between now and the end of September.”

“If enacted, the House proposal could force the NLRB to curtail all agency operations, including investigating alleged illegal practices by private sector employers and unions,” wrote Liebman and Solomon.

The Republican congressmen are now asking for documentation. “To better understand the basis of your claim, please provide the following information no later than March 17, 2011,” wrote Kline and Roe, followed by four requests.

Of interest, the letter asks for documentation for the claim that all employees would be furloughed, but also for “all documents and communications relating to the February 18, 2011 joint statement you issued with Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon.”

Additionally, the congressmen requested the Performance Budget Justifications dating back to 1999 and the identification of years in which the agency had a budget surplus.

The NLRB budget increased $20 million from 2009 to 2010.