By Keith Laing - 06/17/11 04:44 PM EDT
The chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Friday that he is conducting a hearing into the National Labor Relations Board's complaint against airplane manufacturer Boeing because "there is an awful lot of political input" on the panel.
The NLRB filed a complaint alleging Boeing decided to build a plant that would produce 787 airplanes in South Carolina in retaliation for labor strikes by workers at its Puget Sound plant near Seattle.
"Very clearly he has sole authority, so it’s a one-man decision, but this is an acting general counsel who has been nominated by the president, so there is an awful lot of political input," Issa said. "Three out of four appointees on the board are Obama appointees and there is a vacancy.”
Issa said that his committee would use Friday's hearing to examine whether or not the Obama administration pressured the NLRB to press the case against Boeing. The panel has steadfastly denied any communication, and the White House has declined to comment on the case, sighting the NLRB's status as an "independent agency."
"We are going to hold them to that because it would be a criminal offense for there to be any communication," Issa said of the NLRB's denials. "We hope they are telling us the whole truth. Rumors were there was at least oral persuasion trying to get Solomon to make this case an issue, one that goes beyond any similar case in NLRB history.”
Issa also said he agrees with other Republicans who have sought to raise the profile of the NLRB proceeding by arguing it's about more than Boeing's Charleston plant.
“I think this is about the future of American competitiveness," he said. "Can companies bid different states, different locations, to get the best value and the most reliable delivery?”
Issa's committee hearing on the NLRB is scheduled for Friday afternoon.