By WFI Staff
Rewind to only two months ago when the House Education and Workforce Committee held a seminal hearing on the future of the National Labor Relations Board. That hearing set the stage for eventual Committee markup and passage of H.R. 1120 – The Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act – but it also showed how low the Obama White House would go in playing political gamesmanship in response to it.
On the same day as that hearing, February 13th, President Obama announced the re-nomination of illegitimate “recess” appointees Richard Griffin and Sharon Block to the NLRB. It was a petty move engineered to distract attention from a needed conversation on the unconstitutional appointments made the President while the U.S. Senate was still in session. The Obama White House and Big Labor saw it as their line-in-the-sand, a message that they had no intention of compromising.
And the individuals nominated are actually current Board members Richard Griffin and Sharon Block. Griffin has been named as a defendant in a racketeering and embezzlement case, and is specifically mentioned in the portion dealing with a cover up. He also has the distinction of previously serving as general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), which has been characterized in the media as “tainted by mob ties” with a “history of corruption.”
Fast forward to April, and Obama is doing it again. The U.S. House of Representatives plans to hold a floor vote on H.R. 1120, and observers expect the measure will pass. Not to be outdone, the Obama White House today announced the nomination of three new candidates to the NLRB – two Republicans and one Democrat – presumably filling all five seats on the board. Coincidence? We don’t think so. Just like back in February, the Obama White House is pushing its NLRB nominees at the exact same time the House prepares to vote this week on whether or not the NLRB should even function in its current state. He may be unable to change the legal and legislative consequences, but he sure thinks he can change the conversation about it over the course of the news cycle.
Either President Obama is really nervous about his prospects in the federal court system and the potential passage of H.R. 1120 or he really believes he can shake up the process by playing sandbox games on critical policy issues. Whatever the case, it would be helpful if he stepped down from his pedestal and actually talked with Congress instead of finding creative ways to run roughshod over constitutional checks and balances.