The Senate confirmed three of President Obama’s executive nominations on Monday.

The Senate voted 54-40 to confirm Lauren McGarity McFerran to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which enforces federal labor laws.


With Republicans taking control of the upper chamber next year, Democrats are more motivated than ever to clear as many of Obama’s executive and judicial nominations as possible before adjourning for the year.

Republicans have been critical of the NLRB, saying it is too pro-labor rather than being an impartial “umpire.”

Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced McFerran’s nomination along a party-line vote of 12-10.  Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said ahead of the vote Monday that the NLRB is critical to preserving the U.S. economy.

“We need to fill a soon to be open seat to ensure the board continues to function properly,” Harkin said. "She will be a great asset to the board."

McFerran formerly worked for Harking on the HELP Committee.

McFerran will replace Nancy Schiffer, whose term expires Dec. 16. Her confirmation ensures that the NLRB will retain the 3-2 Democratic majority.

Jeffery Baran was also confirmed Monday on a 52-40 vote to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

And the Senate confirmed Ellen Dudley Williams to be director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy at the Department of Energy by voice-vote.