For The Recond: Presidential Veto Threat Against Bill TO Hamstring NLRB

WASHINGTON —The ruling Right Wing Republicans in the House scheduled an April 12 vote on HR1120, a GOP bill to hamstring the National Labor Relations Board and bring it to a dead halt, despite labor opposition and an Obama administration veto warning.

The AFL-CIO strongly opposed the bill, which bars the NLRB from deciding anything until it has a legally mandated 3-person quorum of permanent members.

“By ordering the NLRB to ‘cease all activity that requires a quorum,’ HR1120 would shut down the board and deny workers a final, enforceable order from the NLRB when they have been illegally fired, retaliated against, denied the right to bargain with their employer, or otherwise had their legal rights violated,” federation Legislative Director Bill Samuel said. He strongly urged lawmakers to vote it down on April 12.

“If this bill were enacted, employers could simply ignore the law, knowing there could not be a timely decision against them by the NLRB. This would throw our system into chaos and deprive workers of their legal rights.

“HR1120 is misguided legislation that would create massive uncertainty and chaos in our labor-management system. This fits into a larger strategy by opponents of the NLRB to undermine the rights of workers to decide whether or not they want to form a union and bargain for better wages and working conditions,” Samuel stated.

The board now has one permanent member and two “recess appointees,” named by Democratic President Barack Obama after GOP Senate filibusters killed his permanent appointees in past years. He has re-nominated all three, plus two more.

The president’s Office of Management and Budget told Congress it would recommend Obama veto HR1120. Here’s the text of its April 10 message:

“HR1120 – Preventing Greater Uncertainty In Labor-Management Relations Act
(Rep. Roe, R-Tenn., and 25 cosponsors)

“The administration strongly opposes HR1120, which would prohibit members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) duly appointed by the president from taking any action. This legislation hurts middle class and working families, weakens the economy and undermines America’s economic competitiveness. If the president is presented with legislation that would undermine the functions of the National Labor Relations Board, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

“HR1120 would needlessly place rights of millions of workers in jeopardy and erode financial security and economic opportunity for middle-class and working families. The National Labor Relations Act charges the NLRB with preventing and remedying unfair labor practices and defending the right of employees to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers. These protections are fundamental to growing the economy and creating jobs from the middle class out by ensuring better wages and working conditions for American workers and an open, fair, and prosperous economy for all.

“The administration rejects the premise of this legislation, as the NLRB properly continues to act while courts resolve legal challenges to the president’s recess appointments, which the administration believes are valid and constitutional. By depriving the NLRB of statutory authority, HR1120 would compromise the president’s
constitutional authority to make recess appointments.

“The legislation poses additional constitutional concerns because it would effectively remove the president’s recess appointees from office, authority that resides with the president. Rather than attempting to pass unfounded legislation such as HR1120, Congress should swiftly confirm the president’s nominees to the board, which would resolve a situation that is of the Congress’s own making.”