Saturday, March 27, 2010

Becker, Feldblum, and Others Given Recess Appointments

White house As predicted, President Obama made several recess appointments today, including Craig Becker to the NLRB.  What was interesting was that Obama recessed only the two Democratic nominees to the NLRB, but recessed two Democrats (including Chai Feldblum of Georgetown) and one Republican to the EEOC.  That could be the result of Obama's need to placate increasing irritable labor leaders, genuine frustration with Republican tactics on Becker's nomination, or a combination of both (not to mention other factors).  One hint comes from the White House announcement of the appointments, including the statement:

The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees.  But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.

Clearly, the political fireworks will continue until--at a minimum--the November elections.  The bigger question is how this fits in with labor and employment reform efforts, such as EFCA or ENDA.  I don't know if variations on those bills were possible this year anyway, but I wonder whether today's action indicates that the White House will try to jam some bills through or whether this is a bone to throw to labor in lieu of legislative action this year.


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