House Republicans continue battle against NLRB

Already the subject of inquiries by House Republicans, the Obama-staffed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) , which has been putting South Carolina under increasing pressure, will find its abilities to harrass South Carolina (or any other state) even more limited due to new legislative tactics.

Of the five members of the Board, two seats have been vacated when the terms of the seat holders expired. Once a third member's term expires before the end of the year, the Board will be unable to conduct business, such as the ongoing efforts to punish South Carolina for holding a referendum to protect workers' rights and allowing Boeing to open a production facility in Charleston.

To fill these seats, the Obama administration can either offer NLRB appointees capable of winning Senate approval or make recess appointments while Congress adjourns, seating those who might have trouble getting past Senate vetting without a vote. Such recess appointees would hold their seats through the end of next year without receiving Senate approval. To prevent the Obama administration from pulling such an undemocratic move, House Republicans have launched a new legislative tactic. The use of pro forma sessions in the House (Article 1, Section Five of the Constitution) which keeps Congress from officially adjourning when either the House or Senate remains in session, will keep the Obama administration from being able to make such recess appointments.

For those who might want to throw stones at Republicans for legislative gamesmanship, its worth noting that tactic was used jointly by Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008 to stall Bush administration-backed legislative efforts.

This move by the House majority follows a vote last month where the House approved legislation to prohibit the NLRB from dictating corporate decisions about where to set up shop. This legislation (H.R. 2587) was sponsored by First District Congressman Tim Scott.

Meanwhile, Scott's other ongoing legislative effort to rein in labor union abuses - the Employee Rights Act - is still pending further action in the House.

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