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 ReidHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' The Memo: Biden seeks a secret weapon — GOP voters Tensions flare over Senate filibuster 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 McConnellHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Democrats see opportunity in GOP feud with business Biden resists calls to give hard-hit states more vaccines than others 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 BarrassoSunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave Lack of cyber funds in Biden infrastructure plan raises eyebrows As Congress considers infrastructure, don't forget rural America 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 EnziThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality Lummis adopts 'laser eyes' meme touting Bitcoin Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Wyo.) said on the floor. "Most small businesses I know can't afford either of those."

Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinWe need a voting rights workaround Romney's TRUST Act is a Trojan Horse to cut seniors' benefits Two more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers 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.