House GOP to attack NLRB appointments

Republicans next week will push legislation through the House that would freeze the work of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The bill is part of the GOP's reaction to President Obama's 2012 appointment of three NLRB members. Those appointments were made while the Senate was not in recess.

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Republicans complained immediately that President Obama overstepped his bounds with the appointments by ignoring the requirement to get Senate consent. The appointments were ultimately challenged in court, and in January, a federal appeals court ruled that NLRB members Sharon Block and Richard Griffin were appointed unconstitutionally.

The third appointee, Terence Flynn, resigned from the NLRB last year. Other than Block and Griffin, the only other current board member is Chairman Mark Pearce.

The bill up next week is H.R. 1120, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), would immediately freeze all activities of the NLRB that require a full quorum.

It would also prevent the NLRB from taking actions to enforce any rule it has adopted since January 4, 2012, when Obama made the appointments.

The legislation would no longer have any effect once all members of the NLRB are confirmed by the Senate or if the Supreme Court issues a decision on the constitutionality of the recess appointments.

The NLRB is an independent agency designed to protect worker rights, and it has the power to impose penalties for unfair labor practices.

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet next Wednesday set the bill up for a vote, which will let the House consider it as early as Thursday.