Barrasso bill would roll back NLRB work to pre-recess status
posted at 1:25 pm on January 31, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
When I asked Mitch McConnell about what the Senate could do to force the NLRB to acknowledge their loss in the DC Circuit appellate court, he replied:
It was only Senate Republicans who were interested in defending the prerogatives of the institution. So I doubt if we could pass anything here in the Senate with a Democratic majority that would impact this one way or the other.
It looks like John Barrasso will test the waters to find out one way or the other:
Republican Sen. John Barrasso introduced legislation Wednesday that would freeze or overturn virtually every decision the National Labor Relations Board has made in the past year.
The move comes after a federal appeals court ruled that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by making appointments to the NLRB when the Senate was on a break last year.
“Until we have a final resolution from the courts, the NLRB should not be able to issue or enforce decisions that will create even more confusion and illegitimate regulations,” Barrasso, R-WY, said. “My bill will restore clarity, order and respect for the U.S. Constitution.”
If the court ruling stands, the NRLB would have just one valid appointee left which would bring deciding any labor cases to a screeching halt. At least three members are needed for a quorum. Barrasso’s bill, though unlikely to clear the Democratically-controlled Senate, would aim to halt a range of decisions and regulations dealing with everything from how social media is used by union members to union dues.
The bill has no chance at all as stand-alone legislation. However, it might succeed as an amendment on a bill that Democrats want to pass — and the new filibuster compromise allows Republicans at least two amendments on each bill. That doesn’t mean an amendment will pass, either, but it will put Democrats on the record as to whether they will hold Obama accountable for his unconstitutional use of the recess-appointment power.