On Wednesday afternoon, the current President of the United States did what may be described as an unconstitutional end run around the United States Senate by “recess appointing” three nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (as well as to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) even though the Senate is not in recess.
Notwithstanding the CFPB appointment, Obama’s seating of the three NLRB appointees—two of whom are ardently pro-union and demonstrate Obama’s ongoing willingness to continue his union-backed carpet-bombing campaign on millions of job creators—drew immediate fire U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), who stated:
“President Obama’s stunning move to install not one but three new members to the National Labor Relations Board without a hearing or a vote in the United States Senate is an unprecedented abuse of power and an affront to the will of the American people.
“For months, workers and employers have expressed outrage over the board’s job-destroying actions, and in response, the House of Representatives took definitive action to rein in the NLRB’s activist agenda through two pieces of bipartisan legislation. Now, the president has taken matters into his own hands, unilaterally selecting new board members without allowing the Senate or the public any opportunity to consider their qualifications for this important position.
“Make no mistake – each and every decision issued by this board will be tainted by the president’s actions. I will continue to pursue aggressive oversight of the NLRB and take any action necessary to protect the rights of workers and employers.”
Obama’s appointments to the NLRB comes a less than three weeks following his nomination of International Union of Operating Engineers General Counsel Richard Griffin and former attorney to Ted Kennedy, Sharon Block, to fill vacancies at the Board.
Union bosses, however, are positively gleeful with Obama’s move.
The SEIU issued a press release Wednesday afternoon stating:
President Obama Stands With Working Families
Today President Obama appointed three new members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in doing so took a strong stand for workers around the country.
The appointments bypasses the predictable Republican filibusters or other obstructionist measures they would employ. There is no doubt that if given the shot, the GOP would have done away with the Board entirely, probably the very worst thing working families need right now.
[Apparently, to the SEIU, America's job creators do not work, nor do they have families.]
Noting the presumption of obstructionism, rather than fact, Moe Lane points out:
They have not been in point of fact filibustered; the question hasn’t even arisen yet, given that it’s been all of nineteen days since the names were submitted and a huge chunk of that time was the Christmas/New Year’s break.
Teamsters’ boss Jimmy Hoffa (the younger) issued a press release as well, which stated:
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today applauded President Obama for using his constitutional authority to appoint well-qualified people to government posts that are key to protecting working people from union-busting corporations and financial predators.
Not to be left out in heaping praise on the appointments, United Steel Workers president, Leo Gerard stated:
“Republicans left the President with no choice but to recess appoint these four people, three to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and one to direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “President Obama showed today that he will use every means at his disposal to circumvent Republican opposition to safeguarding workers and consumers.”
Apparently, “every means at his disposal” includes stepping all over the separation of powers as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
If, in fact, Barack Obama was attempting to restore some semblance of credibility to the union-controlled NLRB, this move only makes matters worse, as the attacks on America’s job creators will continue.
For more reactions to Obama’s NLRB appointments, go here.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776