Obama pays off unions with Becker recess appointment

posted at 10:12 am on March 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

We got tons of e-mail this weekend when Barack Obama made 15 recess appointments once Congress left town, including the controversial Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.  This move should have surprised no one.  Even though Democrats blasted George Bush for his recess appointments, especially John Bolton’s appointment as UN Ambassador, Obama’s need to kiss and make up to the unions made this entirely predictable.

Mark Tapscott gives us a good background on Becker himself and why Obama made the move:

Craig Becker is one radical dude. He claims management should be barred from National Labor Relations Board hearings on labor-management disputes, and he is a strong advocate of Card Check, the union bosses’ proposal to do away with secret ballots in workplace representation elections. None of this should come as a surprise, as Becker is the former associate general counsel for the radical Service Employees International Union and has represented the AFL-CIO in court. The son of a University of Iowa professor, he’s also a former law professor at Georgetown and the University of California, Los Angeles. In other words, he’s a product of two of the most out-of-touch milieus in American society. Only 7 percent of all private sector jobs are now represented by the unions Becker represents, and it is all but impossible to find a more uniformly left-wing group than the typical American college faculty.

So why is President Obama using his power of recess appointments — the right of a president to put somebody in an executive branch position until the next Congress convenes, which in the present case will be January 2011 — to install Becker as the deciding vote on the NLRB? The answer to that question, of course, starts with what the five-member NLRB does, which is oversee the administration of the National Labor Relations Act, the basic rule book for labor-management relations since it was signed by FDR in 1935. There is also the fact that last month Becker’s nomination fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to defeat a threatened Republican filibuster in the Senate, which left a recess appointment as the only way Obama could get his man on the NLRB.

Expect Becker to come on like a man possessed once he is ensconced at the NLRB because nobody expects the next Congress to be any more receptive to his appointment than the current one. But nine months of Becker on the NLRB is better than nothing, especially because the Senate has been markedly unsympathetic to Card Check, despite it being the union bosses’ No. 1 legislative priority.

The NLRB appointment can cause some mischief, but won’t get the unions what they really want — Card Check.  Furthermore, Tapscott’s entirely correct that the next Senate won’t be any more receptive to Becker than this one, and likely a lot less so.  In fact, the Senate usually declines to confirm recess appointments once they come back into session, preferring to rebuke the executive for their high-handedness instead.

The Becker appointment, coming over the objections of both Republicans and Democrats (which is why Harry Reid couldn’t get Becker confirmed even with 60 Democrats), gives the GOP yet another piece of evidence of Obama’s radicalism.  The President sold himself as a post-partisan moderate in 2008, but his appointments of people like Van Jones and Craig Becker give evidence that Obama is at his heart a radical Leftist with better PR than most.  In 2010, those kinds of decisions will make a great deal of difference in Senate races, where Republicans can argue to replace Democratic incumbents in order to check Obama’s radical appointments.

In the meantime, though, Presidents retain the power to make recess appointments, and the minority doesn’t have the option of keeping the Senate in session indefinitely to prevent it.  By their very nature, recess appointments are provocative and unpopular; otherwise, there wouldn’t be a need to use that process on those nominees.  The best prevention for radical choices like Craig Becker is to have someone other than Barack Obama in the White House, and enough Republicans in the Senate to keep the chamber in session.  Elections have consequences … and we usually only learn that when experiencing the unpleasant ones.


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This is going to hurt Obama in the long run.

Good luck getting anyone confirmed now.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM

This may well be the scariest appointment so far. And that is a mouthful I know, but think of the damage a guy like this can cause.

JusDreamin on March 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I love how Obama chastises the GOP for Harry Reid not bringing a vote to the floor.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:16 AM

This is a move that is bound to encourage private enterprises to hire more people! Remember, the president will not rest until….

But rembmeber it’s all about jobs except when it isn’t.

chaswv on March 29, 2010 at 10:16 AM

This may well be the scariest appointment so far. And that is a mouthful I know, but think of the damage a guy like this can cause.

JusDreamin on March 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I don’t know. How much damage is there left to do? Haven’t Obama and the Dems already done enough?

Doughboy on March 29, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Obama likes to hear a variety of opinions, from democratic socialism…all the way to communism. The whole range. :)

RBMN on March 29, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Obama’s needdesire to kiss A$$ and makesuck up to the unions made this entirelyutterly predictabledespicable.

fixed…

singlemalt_18 on March 29, 2010 at 10:18 AM

JOBS JOBS JOBS!

(Unless they’re non-union, in which case they need to be destroyed.)

Good Lt on March 29, 2010 at 10:19 AM

[T]hen-Senator Obama had railed against the recess appointment of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, saying that Mr. Bolton would be “damaged goods” and lacked credibility without Senate confirmation.

http://www.newworldorderreport.com/Default.aspx?tabid=266&ID=2809

Different Day…

franksalterego on March 29, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Now let me be clear….I hate this guy.

search4truth on March 29, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Since PBHO is pivoting towards jobs now…umm…I mean Afghanistan…I can see why he would want a partisan hack working the system from the inside.

Everybody loves the unions, mores so when their exemption in the healthcare scheme gets wider attention.

Bishop on March 29, 2010 at 10:23 AM

It’s going to take one strong arsed conservative president to undue the public employee union power Obama is empowering into the Federal system.

Riots, protests, etc will be the norm as the SEIU and Company are ever threatened.

rickyricardo on March 29, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Marxism – the tail wagging the dog.

OldEnglish on March 29, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Obama pays off unions with Becker recess appointment

It is this kind of headline, and this kind of thinking that drives me into a rage.

Obama did NOT pay off the UNION, he paid off Becker.
Becker will spread the favor around to his union buds.

The well connected get their pay off, the union rank and file gets longer unemployment, unless they suck up to the union leadership.

This is the very definition of corruption. It’s not how hard you work, or how well your work is done, it’s who you suck that counts.

Skandia Recluse on March 29, 2010 at 10:34 AM

I’m generally against filibustering nominees, no matter how bad they are. I think recess nominations are fairly telling of presidential priorities. Bolton’s nomination told us something about Bush’s priorities. What does this nomination tell us about P.BO?

That said: repeal the Wagner Act.

Count to 10 on March 29, 2010 at 10:34 AM

He claims management should be barred from National Labor Relations Board hearings on labor-management disputes,

Wouldn’t that change the nature of what that very board is for, bringing two sides of an issue together in a dispute? (Rehtorical question) Talk about one-sided. It’s tantamount to going to a trial, and not being able to tell your side, being railroaded.

Patriot Vet on March 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

its going to get worse.

rob verdi on March 29, 2010 at 10:37 AM

I love how Obama chastises the GOP for Harry Reid not bringing a vote to the floor.

Actually, I love how he accuses the GOP of obstructionism when the Democrats did the same thing when Bush was president. It’s okay when the Democrats do it, but not when the Republicans.

Alia on March 29, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Communist appoints communist to politburo chair.
News at 11.

angryed on March 29, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Obama’s total war against private-sector employers proceeds at full speed.

After all, as Obama should know, given his life experience, “corporate greed” must be entirely destroyed.

In this climate of unwavering recession and bald anti-capitalist government hostility, it is becoming almost an act of heroism for American private-sector enterprises to persist.

Edouard on March 29, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Patriot Vet on March 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

All union guys want that. My wife is in Labor Relations and her unions can get ridculous at times with what they come up to file ULP’s with.

Johnnyreb on March 29, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Unions are a disgrace and impediment to individual ability and potential.

daesleeper on March 29, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Actually, I love how he accuses the GOP of obstructionism when the Democrats did the same thing when Bush was president. It’s okay when the Democrats do it, but not when the Republicans.

Alia on March 29, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Hell…the Democrats are obstructing NOW.

All Reid has to do is call Becker’s nomination to the floor. But he won’t do it because even Dems won’t vote for the guy. He’s been nominated since the Dems had 60 votes and he still couldn’t get a floor vote.

Democrats…so good at obstruction they obstruct themselves.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Obama blamed the recess appointments on the GOP. But how did they prevent these people from getting appointed?

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Oh, I think the GOP will fuss for a couple of days and then move on.

It’s just not smart to fight every single action. That’s true obstructionism, and it backfires eventually.

No administration is ever going to please everyone with every appointment. This is one arena in which I agree, elections have consequences.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Obama blamed the recess appointments on the GOP. But how did they prevent these people from getting appointed?

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Apparently they told Harry Reid if he brought Becker’s nomination to the floor they would beat him up and take his lunch money.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:53 AM

All Reid has to do is call Becker’s nomination to the floor. But he won’t do it because even Dems won’t vote for the guy. He’s been nominated since the Dems had 60 votes and he still couldn’t get a floor vote.

Probably right about that one. At this point, they don’t want to put the moderate Dems in any more of a bind than they already have.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

I’m generally against filibustering nominees, no matter how bad they are. I think recess nominations are fairly telling of presidential priorities. Bolton’s nomination told us something about Bush’s priorities. What does this nomination tell us about P.BO?

That said: repeal the Wagner Act.

Count to 10 on March 29, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Who filibustered these nominees?

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Oh, I think the GOP will fuss for a couple of days and then move on.

It’s just not smart to fight every single action. That’s true obstructionism, and it backfires eventually.

No administration is ever going to please everyone with every appointment. This is one arena in which I agree, elections have consequences.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Harry Reid is the obstructionist, he’s the one not bringing the nomination to floor for a vote.

He couldn’t get Becker confirmed when they had 60 votes.

Fail.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

This guy is dangerous. Plus, no adminstration has ever been as radical and anti-American as this one.

darwin on March 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Who filibustered these nominees?

hawksruleva on March 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Harry Reid.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Unions should be made to register as political parties.

darwin on March 29, 2010 at 10:55 AM

It’s just not smart to fight every single action. That’s true obstructionism, and it backfires eventually.

Oh?

And how do the Republicans “obstruct” anything again? They don’t have the votes to. Voicing opposition, which is the job of the opposition party (as it was with he Democrats during the Bush years), is normal, healthy and necessary in a democracy.

We are not obligated to accept bad nominees, bad ideas, bad policies and bad government.

Good Lt on March 29, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Oh, I think the GOP will fuss for a couple of days and then move on.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Brilliant. As if they had any other options.

Captain Obvious Award for this thread.

fogw on March 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM

All Reid has to do is call Becker’s nomination to the floor. But he won’t do it because even Dems won’t vote for the guy. He’s been nominated since the Dems had 60 votes and he still couldn’t get a floor vote.

Probably right about that one. At this point, they don’t want to put the moderate Dems in any more of a bind than they already have.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

The moderate Dems are the ones that hate this guy as much as the GOP. Nobody likes him, he’d be lucky to get 35 votes.

Obama just kicked dirt in the eyes of his own party, the GOP, and the American people by appointing this radical to retard any potential hiring that might have happened in the near future.

This guy is bad news and private-sector employers are not going to react positively.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM

The only bi-partisanship we’ve seen in Obama’s tenure is bipartisan opposition to everything he does.

uknowmorethanme on March 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I love how the left cries “BUT BUT BUT BUSH DID IT TOO!@!!!”

Yeah. And you were supposed to be the “change” from Bush.

Instead, you’re following him. Times 15.

Good Lt on March 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM

I guess having the taxpayers buy them GM just wasn’t enough.

AZCoyote on March 29, 2010 at 11:02 AM

TeeHee! More “Good for me but not for Thee” Democrat elitist behavior on display! Makes me laugh every time I hear a politician complain about the prior “bad acts” of others before doing the same.
.
One word: HYPOCRITE !

ExpressoBold on March 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Becker’s appointment is a CYA for not getting ‘card check’.

GarandFan on March 29, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Brilliant. As if they had any other options.

Captain Obvious Award for this thread.

fogw on March 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM

LOL*

That’s fair.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 11:09 AM

This guy is dangerous. Plus, no adminstration has ever been as radical and anti-American as this one.

darwin on March 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Personally, I think he’s just a “retro-Democrat.”

I feel like I should dig out my bell-bottoms and peace symbol.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Obama is at his heart a radical Leftist with better PR than most.

Yep, how can one have “bad PR” when 95% of the mainstream media have their lips firmly attached to O’bama’s posterior?

Del Dolemonte on March 29, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Speaking of unions, saw a story yesterday that thanks to O’bama, there are now more union members in government jobs than in the private sector.

“Mission Accomplished”.

Del Dolemonte on March 29, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I feel like I should dig out my bell-bottoms and peace symbol.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Still in the dryer, huh?

fogw on March 29, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Oh, I think the GOP will fuss for a couple of days and then move on.

It’s just not smart to fight every single action. That’s true obstructionism, and it backfires eventually.

No administration is ever going to please everyone with every appointment. This is one arena in which I agree, elections have consequences.

AnninCA on March 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

SEE YOU ON ANOTHER THREAD…BYE BYE

NJ Red on March 29, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Can anyone put me some knowledge about why we need a Department of Labor at all?

cthulhu on March 29, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Glenn Beck will be all over this in 5…4…3..

Harry S on March 29, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Starve the beast…Why do people insist on responding to that waste of carbon?

daesleeper on March 29, 2010 at 11:32 AM

I do appreciate the exposure of this news; But, does ANYBODY expect anything but corruption from this Administration and Congress?
If you think this bunch of wannabe gestapo bosses wants to conduct anything in an ethical manner, fitting the Constitution or the United States’ established protocols, you must be still blogging from under your whale poop shelter.

Cybergeezer on March 29, 2010 at 11:38 AM

This guy is bad, but he’s no worse than the crew of crooks and crackpots at the EPA, DOE, etc.

Lisa Jackson, Craig Becker, John Holdren, Ray LaHood, some of his foreign-policy crew, it’s literally impossible to decide who’s worst.

JEM on March 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM

JEM on March 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM

That’s easy…

… its Barrack Hussein “Aka Barry Soreto AKA DJ Lil’ Commie AKA Teh One AKA Obamessiah” 0bama

Wolftech on March 29, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Becker, damaged goods, never will he be known as the real thing.

Get used to Obammunism.

tarpon on March 29, 2010 at 12:54 PM

In fact, the Senate usually declines to confirm recess appointments once they come back into session, preferring to rebuke the executive for their high-handedness instead.

All fifteen recess appointments expire at the close of the 111th Congress — unless approved by Congress — correct?

ya2daup on March 29, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Obama had a method to his March madness with the NLRB recess appointments: http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZDI0OWNhYWY0YTIzMTZhZWUwNjkwMTMwMzNiMDRjZDg=

Take a look at who was not appointed and the implications down the road.

The lad is trying to turn the US into a “workers’ paradise,” and its muscle is the labor unions.

onlineanalyst on March 29, 2010 at 3:12 PM

onlineanalyst on March 29, 2010 at 4:54 PM

This may well be the scariest appointment so far. And that is a mouthful I know, but think of the damage a guy like this can cause.

JusDreamin on March 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM

It’s pretty tough to beat John Holdren, JusDreamin. We have a “Science” Czar that believes in forced abortion and mass sterilization.

BKennedy on March 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM