POLITICS

House passes bill to temporarily shutdown NLRB

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

By a 219-209 vote, the House today approved HR 1120, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. The legislation would force the National Labor Relations Board to cease making any rulings until the Supreme Court rules on the validity of two recess appointees the White House made to five-member board.

The effort is mostly symbolic since the Democrat-majority Senate is unlikely to take up the bill.

The NLRB has had difficulty acting ever since an appeals court ruled in January that the appointments were unconstitutional. The court’s ruling meant the NLRB has not had a legal quorum to act in almost 15 months, retroactively invalidating all of its actions over that period.

The NLRB has tried to ignore the court’s ruling, but court challenges to its actions by Big Business have forced it to ask the Supreme Court to resolve the issue. Assuming the court takes up the case, a ruling likely won’t come until October at the earliest.

Republicans pushed the bill to ensure that the NLRB waits until the court rules before it makes any further actions. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., said in a statement:

The president’s unprecedented recess appointment scheme has crippled the work of the board. Roughly 600 decisions are now constitutionally suspect and that number grows with each new decision. Workers, employers, and unions are in limbo. Despite claims to the contrary, the overwhelming majority of business before the NLRB is addressed by regional offices and will continue under this proposal. Today the House has simply instructed the board to stop exacerbating a crisis that is harming the American workforce.

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