Brace yourself: The real winner in the renewed conversation on so-called filibuster reform is union bosses. Unsurprisingly, should Big Labor’s allies in the United States Senate change the rules regarding how federal nominations are handled, it will be at the expense of America’s small businesses. And with vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board, Big Labor is salivating at the chance to advance its agenda by ramming through President Barack Obama’s nominees.
Even though, to everyday Americans, the NLRB is a little-known (and so-called independent) agency, it wields outsized influence over the nation’s economy as it referees matters between labor and business in the private sector. But the Obama Labor Board has focused on undoing decades of precedent and rewriting workplace regulations that Congress would not adopt, such as the creation of small collective-bargaining units under one employer’s roof known as “micro-unions.”
But it doesn’t stop there. The board attempted to create an “ambush” election rule that hurries the collective-bargaining process so significantly that workers are not able to receive all the information and hear the complete arguments from both labor and business when making a decision concerning the formation of a collective-bargaining unit. It was only when a federal judge found that the NLRB did not have a proper quorum that the quickie election rule was stopped.
The Obama administration has time and again jammed job-killing policies — such as the formation of micro-unions — though this board. But their efforts have been temporarily sidetracked by a decision reached in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which found the “recess” appointments made by the president in the summer of 2012 were unconstitutional since the Senate was not, in fact, in recess and convening regularly. The NLRB’s chairman disregarded the ruling almost immediately after it was announced, and the board has continued to operate in defiance of the court.
But, according to the D.C. Circuit Court, to which all board cases can be appealed, the NLRB is officially down to one legitimate member, meaning it does not have a lawful quorum requiring three people, which now seemingly provides the president the opportunity to appeal to his allies in the upper chamber and change the rules governing executive branch nominations in order to stack the deck with three rigid union partisans.
In fact, Obama already re-nominated Richard Griffin and Sharon Block — the two members unconstitutionally appointed last year. Griffin is the former general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and was recently mentioned in the portion of a racketeering and embezzlement lawsuit dealing with a cover-up. And according to Fox News, the “rap sheet for members of the International Union of Operating Engineers reads like something out of ‘Goodfellas.’ Embezzlement. Wire fraud. Bribery. That’s just scratching the surface of crimes committed by the IUOE ranks.”
It is also worth mentioning that other special interests are salivating over the idea of President Obama being able to pack the courts with an army of liberal activist judges — who would receive lifetime appointments with little scrutiny and would be able to write laws from the bench that stand no chance of passage in the Congress.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.