No Confirmation, No Paycheck

GOP bill would eliminate salaries of NLRB members until they are ‘legally confirmed’

Sen. Roy Blunt / AP
• January 31, 2013 5:40 pm


Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R.) introduced a bill to eliminate the salaries of the Democratic board members Sharon Block and Richard Griffin in the wake of a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling declaring their "recess appointments" unconstitutional.

"This bill would terminate the salaries of Obama’s illegal NLRB appointees and block the board from taking any action until these appointees are legally confirmed," Blunt wrote in an op-ed in Reuters introducing the bill.

The bill has already gained a number of prominent GOP cosponsors since Blunt introduced it on Wednesday, including Sens. John Cornyn (Texas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Susan Collins (Maine), Pat Roberts (Kan.), and Mike Lee (Utah).

Lee has been especially critical of Obama’s decision to place Griffin and Block on the board while the Senate remained in pro-forma session. Lee spokesman Brian Phillips said lawmakers have been forced to turn to legislative means to oust the controversial appointments, since the administration has refused to take any action.

"They’re not going to step down until the Supreme Court weighs in [on the Appeals Court decision]," he said.

The NLRB will appeal the court’s decision.

"The board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the president’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld," NLRB chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said in a statement.

The ruling was accompanied by a stay that allows the board to continue its operations. Pearce pledged to exercise that leniency until a higher court orders him to stop.

"In the meantime, the board has important work to do," he said. "The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions."

The board has issued several decisions in labor disputes since the court ruling. Senate Republicans have introduced a separate bill that would prevent the NLRB from taking any actions until the Senate properly confirms its board members.

"If they won’t take down their ‘Open for Business’ sign and put up one that says ‘Help Wanted,' then the Senate will," Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) said. "The president created this problem but the Constitution provides him with a way to fix it—send the Senate acceptable nominees to fill these important positions."