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.

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The Senate reserved two hours on Monday of debate on the disapproval resolution after Republicans collected 45 signatures on the resolution that moved it out of committee. 

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 Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting 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 Anthony BarrassoWatchdog to probe EPA email preservation Overnight Energy: EPA moves to roll back chemical plant safety rule | NASA chief says humans contribute to climate change | Pruitt gets outside lawyer House lawmakers to unveil water resources bill on Friday 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 EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziSinger Jason Mraz: Too much political 'combat' in Washington Lobbying world Ethics watchdog calls for probe into Mulvaney over 'real estate dealings' MORE (R-Wyo.) said on the floor. "Most small businesses I know can't afford either of those."

Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinDem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law 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.