Monday, December 28, 2009
The Washington Post is reporting that Craig Becker's nomination to the NLRB (among five other nominees to different agencies) was "referred back to the White House for reconsideration." It's unclear to me how significant this move is. The Post includes the six under a list of nominees who were "rejected," but it appears that they could be renominated, based on the following quote:
No formal vote was taken, but the six nominees who were "returned to the White House" for reconsideration and possible renomination "ran into opposition," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
If anyone else has a better idea of what's going on or what might happen, please post a comment or e-mail me. Given that the NLRB nominees are usually packaged together you wouldn't expect this to be the end of Becker's nomination, but who knows. If his nomination is gone, it might spell trouble for the rest of the nominees. And if that happened, then the two-member Board issue only gets more relevant.
Thanks to Rebecca Hamburg and Russ Runkel for filling in more info. It seems that the problem is Sen. McCain's hold on Becker's nomination. Under Senate rules, nominations not acted on at the end of a session essentially "die" and can't be acted on again unless they are formally renominated. However, the Senate can adopt a unanimous consent agreement that waives this rule and permits further action without renomination. But the Senate refused to do so with Becker and the others. The upshot is that Becker could get renominated, but unless there's a way to break McCain's hold on him it may not matter.
Hat Tip: Barry Hirsch