The argument for NLRB obsolescence is …
posted at 10:30 am on February 20, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Normally at this time during football season, I’d pop an open thread about the day’s games and write a few predictions. (I did pretty well on those up until the last game, too.) We may not get a chance for those open threads this year, as a threatened lockout by NFL owners could mean the entire 2011 season would get canceled. And Democrats this week already know what to blame for that — budget cuts by mean Republicans to the National Labor Relations Board:
Rep. Eliot Engel said cuts to labor board could leave the league without an effective mediator if the players strike.
The Republicans’ plan to cut billions of dollars in federal spending could threaten the next season of the National Football League (NFL), a House Democrat charged Thursday.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said steep cuts to the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB), as proposed by Republicans, could leave the league without an effective mediator if the players strike later this year, as they’re threatening to do. …
To support his claim, the New York Democrat pointed to the Major League Baseball strike of 1994 and 1995, which was resolved only after U.S. District Judge Sonia Sotomayor (now a Supreme Court justice) backed the NLRB’s injunction to end the standoff.
“It was not collective bargaining that brought those players back on the field; it was the National Labor Relations Board,” Engel said.
Republicans cut $50 million from the NRLB’s budget, in part because of their efforts to lower government spending, and in part to stop the NRLB from pushing de facto Card Check regulations. The recess appointment and renomination of Craig Becker played no small role in the budget cuts, too. The White House provoked that fight with the recess appointment, and this is the penalty to be paid.
But even apart from that, the nation will not come to a screeching halt if mult-millionaires and billionaires can’t come to an agreement about how to split lucrative revenues rolling across their doors. I’m as big a fan of NFL football as there is, but it’s not a situation where federal mediation is needed — and neither was the MLB strike in 1994-5. Striking miners? Yes. Striking football players or owners shutting the doors to their stadiums? Not a priority.
Frankly, if the NFL can’t figure out how to straighten out their own finances, the federal government is the last entity on Earth that should presume to instruct them. We don’t need to spend millions on mediation between millionaires and billionaires. If Congress thinks that an NFL lockout is a priority, well, that explains a lot about Congress, the federal budget, and the insane growth of federal jurisdictions over the last several decades.
Update: Maybe Engel should have done a little research, suggests HA reader Mark W:
The NFL and its players’ union met before a federal mediator for the third consecutive day on Sunday, trying to find common ground for a new labor deal before the current one expires.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith arrived for Sunday’s session at about 10 a.m. Neither would comment on the talks.
Various lawyers and other members of both negotiating teams showed up earlier at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service office building. George Cohen, the director of that U.S. government agency, has been mediating the talks.
Can we get Engel to agree to defund the entire agency after the NFL mediation?
Update II: I had earlier corrected “NRLB” in the title, but completely missed the fact that I had misspelled obsolescence too. My apologies.
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