Kent Hoover reports at Portfolio.com that it didn’t take long. A day after Congress left town for two weeks, President Barack Obama on Saturday used his power to appoint people to government posts while Congress is on recess to put Craig Becker on the National Labor Relations Board.
Business groups lobbied hard against Becker’s nomination to the NLRB when his nomination failed to clear the Senate in February. They contend he is radically pro-union and will try to accomplish administratively what unions have failed to achieve legislatively: Change the rules to make it easier to organize workplaces. All 41 Republican senators sent the president a letter last Thursday asking him not to use his recess appointment power to install Becker at the agency.
Flush from his victory on health care reform, however, Obama felt no need to listen to the business community or Republicans concerning Becker. Instead, he rewarded his friends in organized labor by not only appointing Becker, but also another Democratic union lawyer, Mark Pearce, to the NLRB. The Republican nominee for the NLRB, Brian Hayes, didn’t get a recess appointment.
Becker and Pearce were among 15 officials that Obama appointed on an interim basis on Saturday. The 15 have been awaiting Senate action on their nominations for seven months on average, the White House noted, but have been blocked by Republicans.
“I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government,” Obama said.
Becker is associate general counsel to the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO. He’s also a law professor who has written in favor of restricting the rights of employers in labor disputes.
Randy Johnson, a senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Becker’s “prolific writings…suggest a radical view of labor law that flies in the face of established precedent and case law, and is far outside the mainstream.”
“The business community should be on red alert for radical changes that could significantly impair the ability of America’s job creators to compete,” Johnson said.
Read More at: Portfolio.com