"Defiant" Obama Strikes Again, Will Make Crucial Recess Appointments to Save the NLRB

 Obama pissed off a lot of Republicans earlier today, when word spread that he would use recess appointment to give Richard Cordray the nation's chief consumer watchdog post. Now, they're really mad, because Obama is also going to use his recess appointment  powers to add Sharon Block (D), Richard Griffin (D), and Terence Flynn (R) to the National Labor Relations Board, saving it from impending collapse. Progressives champion the decision as a crucial move to save the NLRB, which Republicans had effectively shut downby blocking nominations to the board -- so many  so that the expiration of Craig Becker's term this week would have left only two remaning members. 

 The Hill reported:

The recess appointments are a huge victory for Obama’s union allies, which had urged the president to use any means necessary to keep the NLRB functioning. Without the recess appointments, the NLRB would have lacked the three-member quorum needed to issue rules and regulations. 

The move by the White House will further anger Republicans, who are already up in arms about Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a letter to Obama last month, all 47 GOP senators asked the president to refrain from making recess appointments to the NLRB. 

But Republicans may not have room to complain that Obama is overstepping his power. As Think Progress reported

Republicans have shown outrage at Obama for using his recess appointment powers with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, and similar outrage is likely to follow the news of the NLRB appointments. But the past three Republican presidents also made recess appointments to the NLRB. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush each made three recess appointments to the NLRB, while George W. Bush made seven such appointments.

For union advocates and workers, Obama's appointments symbolize an important victory. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released this statement:

We commend the President for exercising his constitutional authority to ensure that crucially important agencies protecting workers and consumers are not shut down by Republican obstructionism. Working families and consumers should not pay the price for political ploys that have repeatedly undercut the enforcement of rules against Wall Street abuses and the rights of working people.


AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at January 4, 2012, 9:51am

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