The White House has threatened to veto legislation that would overturn a rule from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) aimed at speeding up union elections.
Republicans say the rule doesn't give companies enough time to prepare for union elections and are pushing a resolution of disapproval to scrap it.
But the Obama administration defended the NLRB rule as “commonsense” and said it would “ensure that workers deciding if they wish to be represented by a union have a fair vote in a reasonable amount of time.”
"If the president is presented with a Resolution of Disapproval that would reverse these measures adopted by the NLRB, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the Resolution," the administration said Monday in a statement of policy.
Unions have backed the NLRB rule, saying it will streamline a burdensome election process that can often stop workers from voting on forming a union.
Business groups, however, argue the rule would limit employers’ free-speech rights when it comes to union elections and have argued it could hurt job growth.
In remarks on the Senate floor on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) urged members of the chamber to vote down the resolution overturning the rule.
"I can't imagine why my Republican colleagues would oppose such a worthy piece of legislation," Reid said. "I'm hopeful, I'm somewhat confident they won't."
In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over healthcare GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE said the NLRB rule restricts "an employer's ability to educate workers about unionization efforts, as well as increase their legal bills and the already high cost of complying with federal regulations."
During the debate over the resolution, Senate Republicans worked to peg the the rule as an attempt to "ambush" employers.
"The ambush-election rule disregards the rights of small businesses and employers across the country," Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoHow 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation Making water infrastructure a priority Overnight Energy: Trump's Keystone XL approval coming soon MORE (R-Wyo.) said, adding the rule effectively "silences" employers across the country.
"As I've stated throughout the debate, the National Labor Relations Board's ambush-election rule is an attempt to stack the odds against American employers, particularly small businesses that don't have a specialist in that area or in-house counsel," Sen. Mike EnziMike EnziTop Dem: Trump's State Dept. cuts a 'Ponzi scheme' Republicans eye strategy for repealing Wall Street reform Lawmakers fundraise amid rising town hall pressure MORE (R-Wyo.) said on the floor. "Most small businesses I know can't afford either of those."
Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa), in defending the rule, said that the entire debate was a waste of time.
"When you have a Democratic president in, the NLRB gets attacked by Republicans. When you have a Republican president in, it gets attacked by Democrats and it becomes a kind of political football. I understand that, and we should understand that that's what this is."
— Updated at 3:54 p.m.