Obama taps two for NLRB posts

President Obama will nominate two new members of the National Labor Relations Board, the White House announced Wednesday.

Obama picked Sharon Block, a deputy assistant secretary for congressional affairs at the Department of Labor and Richard Griffin, general counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers, to join the panel. 

The nominations came the same day that House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said he would continue an investigation into the NLRB's decision to drop a complaint against Boeing.

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The labor board argued for much of the past year that Boeing decided to locate a new plant to build its new 787 Dreamliner jets in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, in retaliation for strikes by unionized workers at its existing facilities in Washington state.

The company reached an agreement this month with the International Association of Machinists to build a different type of airliner, the 737 Max, in Washington, which the NLRB said satisfied its concerns

Conservatives complained that the NLRB was overstepping its mandate and that it was a "rogue" agency.


Given recent criticism of the NLRB by prominent Republicans as well as recent successful efforts to block nominees for administration posts, confirmation of the NLRB nominees is not from from assured. 

Senate Democrats began urging Obama to make a recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after Republicans blocked his nomination last week. 

On Monday, Senate Republicans also blocked Obama's nomination for U.S. ambassador to El Salvador as well. In response, the White House said the GOPer's obstruction of the nomination was motivated by partisanship.