Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Late last week, the House voted (219-209) for the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. The bill would require the NLRB members to cease their work, while allowing other functions, such as the regional offices, to continue. The impetus is the D.C. Circuit's Noel Canning decision. According to The Hill:
The House voted Friday to freeze the work of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a reaction to a federal court's finding that two of the NLRB's current three board members were unconstitutionally appointed by President Obama in 2012.
Members narrowly passed the Republican bill, H.R. 1120, in a mostly partisan 219-209 vote. Every Democrat voted against it, and they were joined by 10 Republicans. . . .
[T]he GOP-favored legislation would freeze the work of the NLRB board as it is currently constituted and block the enforcement of the decisions the board has made since Obama's appointments have been in place. Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) said the court ruling calls into question all of the board's decisions, and that its work should therefore be frozen. . . .
What is more intersting is how the Republican reaction will play out with the recent new NLRB appointees. There could easily still be objections in the Senate to allowing the NLRB to continue, period. That said, the language used in this bill and similar support for Noel Canning stresses the recess appointments more than anything else (and, yes, I know that hostility to the NLRB is a big part of it too). Moreover, would two well-paid law firm partners put themselves through the appointments ringer if they didn't feel like there was a good chance that they would be confirmed? I doubt it, but we'll have to see.
Hat Tip: Patrick Kavanagh