More Obama Recess Appointments, This Time To NLRB

Following up on his recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB, President Obama is also using the power to make three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board:

President Obama will recess-appoint his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), bypassing a likely filibuster from Senate Republicans to keep the controversial agency operating in 2012.

The president will use a recess appointment to install Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and Terence Flynn as members of the NLRB. Block and Griffin are Democrats, while Flynn is a Republican.

The recess appointments are a huge victory for Obama’s union allies, which had urged the president to use any means necessary to keep the NLRB functioning. Without additional members, the NLRB would have lacked the three-member quorum needed to issue rules and regulations.

“The American people deserve to have qualified public servants fighting for them every day — whether it is to enforce new consumer protections or uphold the rights of working Americans,” Obama said in a statement. “We can’t wait to act to strengthen the economy and restore security for our middle class and those trying to get in it, and that’s why I am proud to appoint these fine individuals to get to work for the American people.”

The move by the White House will further anger Republicans, who were already up in arms about Obama’s recess appointment Wednesday of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a letter to Obama last month, all 47 GOP senators asked the president to refrain from making recess appointments to the NLRB.

The political ramifications of this are rather clear, I think. The legal issues, particularly the question of whether Congress is really “in recess” as defined in Article II, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, is a much closer question that I hope to explore in a post later today or tomorrow.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hey Norm says:

    I hope your future post addresses standing…and who might have it.

  2. mantis says:

    In a letter to Obama last month, all 47 GOP senators asked the president to refrain from making recess appointments to the NLRB.

    We refuse to allow votes on your appointments, and demand that you not appoint anyone while we’re on recess.

    From the GOP’s letter:

    While some have publicly suggested doing so would be an appropriate course of action with regard to other nominations, it would, at the very least, set a dangerous precedent that would most certainly be exploited in future cases to further marginalize the Senate’s role in confirming nominees and could needlessly provoke a constitutional conflict between the Senate and the White House,”

    It would set a “dangerous precedent” and “provoke a constitutional conflict.” You know who else made recess appointments to the NLRB? The last three Republican presidents. IOKIYAR!

  3. Hey Norm says:

    In addition to everything else…is this story is going to take a bunch of air out of the Iowa results.
    Has Obama denied Romney the news-cycle?
    Meep-Meep.

  4. MBunge says:

    I don’t have the legal knowlege as to whether these appointments past muster or not. What’s really important, though, is that everyone start to realize that if the level of GOP obstructionism of the last 3 years is going to be the new normal, a Constiutional crisis is almost inevitable.

    Mike

  5. The president will use a recess appointment to install Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and Terence Flynn as members of the NLRB. Block and Griffin are Democrats, while Flynn is a Republican.

    I’m glad I’m not Terence Flynn right now, having to choose whether to show up to the NRLB meetings and be branded an Obama stooge and blacklisted from the GOP or not showing up and letting the Democrats vote through their policies unopposed.

  6. David M says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’d be interested to see any quotes from Terence Flynn right now regarding the recess appointment.

    FYI, some in the GOP already realize this won’t play badly for Obama as Scott Brown endorsed the recess appoint of Cordray.

  7. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I love this.

    Clearly Obama has got some brass cojones.

    In my view he’s already zoomed by Wild Bill as the best Democrat president of my lifetime. With a little more work, e.g., taking out Iran’s nukes or sending in troops to crush a union strike, he’ll surpass the great Harry S Truman as the greatest Democrat president in modern history. At least in my view.

    I won’t be voting for him, for obvious reasons, but with the Osama hit, the drone strikes, the renditions, with his willingness to throw the enviro nuts under the bus with that Keystone Pipeline deal, and now with this brass knuckled approach to dealing with the Senate, the man certainly has earned my admiration.

  8. Tano says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    I won’t be voting for him, for obvious reasons

    Whatever your reasons may be, they are not obvious ones…

  9. anjin-san says:

    Great move by Obama. The Republicans on the hill have made it clear then have no interest in governing. Nice to see him shoving this down their throats. Since W made 171 recess appointments, I think the country can survive a few more by Obama.