Sen. Ben Nelson has announced he would support a Republican filibuster of the nomination of union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board, putting Becker’s Senate confirmation in serious doubt.
As I’ve note in previous posts, Becker has served as a lawyer to SEIU and the AFL-CIO. He has also written that “card check” — which would deny workers a secret ballot on unionization, and thus enable labor to rapidly add members through intimidation — could be enacted on the regulatory front by the NRLB, which he has been nominated to chair.
“Mr. Becker’s previous statements strongly indicate that he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB, and that he would pursue a personal agenda there, rather than that of the Administration,” Nelson said in a statement. “This is of great concern, considering that the Board’s main responsibility is to resolve labor disputes with an even and impartial hand. In addition, the nominee’s statements fly in the face of Nebraska’s Right to Work laws, which have been credited in part with our excellent business climate that has attracted employers and many good jobs to Nebraska. Considering these matters, I will oppose the upcoming cloture motion and the nomination.”
The vote on Becker was originally scheduled for Monday and then got pushed back until today, but given the forecasts of yet another blizzard in DC that has shut down the federal government again, it isn’t clear when it will actually take place.
If Becker cannot get confirmed by the Senate, President Obama could still use a recess appointment, a strategy that Majority Leader Harry Reid has already floated.