Senate blocks NLRB veto override vote

Greg Nash
Senators on Tuesday blocked any future attempts to override President Obama's veto of a union election law.
 
Senators voted 96-3 on a motion to table the president's veto message, essentially killing any further attempts to formally override it.
 
Republican Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz holds back support for Trump with eye on abortion Trump takes victory lap over rivals' remarks What happens when the GOP base abandons the party platform? MORE (Texas), who is running for president, Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Jerry Moran (Kansas) were the only senators to vote against tabling the president's veto.
 
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Obama vetoed the union election legislation in March, after Congress passed a resolution of disapproval on a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that would speed up union elections.
 
Republicans criticized Democrats after the vote, suggesting they blocked the Senate from being able to formally attempt a veto override.
 
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said, "Democrats refuse to allow the Senate to vote on overriding the veto."
 
"I voted with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to table the motion," he said in a statement. "Otherwise Democrats would be able to further obstruct our ability to deal with important issues including Iran, trade agreements and fixing No Child Left Behind."
 
Ahead of the vote, Democrats suggested that a vote to table, which would let the president's veto continue, was a vote to support American workers.
 
"Instead of attacking workers who just want a voice in the workplace, I hope my colleagues will support President Obama's veto," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said Monday. She added that the NLRB rule will "make modest, but important, changes to modernize and streamline" union elections.
 
The Senate was expected to take the NLRB vote on Monday, but Republican leadership swapped it out for a vote on Willie May's Commerce Department nomination.
 
Republicans have warned that the NLRB law puts pressure on workers and employers, and doesn't give enough time to prepare for a union election.
 
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) also told The Hill earlier this year that it "undermines employees' privacy."
 
"There's no limit to how many times union organizers can contact you," he said. "It undermines employees' privacy at a time when identity theft and cyber crimes are serious business."
 
Republicans likely didn't have the votes necessary to override the president's veto. The Senate passed its resolution earlier this year by a 53-46 vote.
 
That means Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would have needed roughly a dozen Democrats to switch their votes to get the 67 votes needed for a successful veto override.
 
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) didn't vote.

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