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Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Nomination of Lafe Solomon, Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board

South Carolina's United States Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to withdraw the nomination of Lafe Solomon, Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Following the NLRB's dismissal earlier this month of their unfounded complaint against Boeing Co., Solomon threatened to take the same misguided action in the future. Solomon said that "if we were ever faced with a similar pattern, we might well issue a complaint."

"In light of Mr. Solomon's recent actions and continued threats, your withdrawal of Mr. Solomon's nomination as General Counsel to the NLRB would send a powerful signal that you will not allow intimidation and inappropriate interference by one of your nominees for a powerful post," Senators Graham and DeMint wrote. "Instead of serving as an unbiased adjudicating body that protects the rights of employees and employers, the NLRB has demonstrated an unprecedented and unacceptable overreach of authority. Mr. Solomon's recent threat is further pressuring every employer to think twice about relocating within the U.S., while facing no retribution for moving outside the country."

The Senators concluded that "withdrawing Mr. Solomon's nomination would be an important first step," in keeping businesses from moving overseas looking for a better economic environment.

In a major departure from long-established law, the NLRB in April filed a complaint against Chicago-based Boeing claiming Boeing violated federal law simply by building a second production line in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. The NLRB dropped this complaint on December 9, only after Boeing made concessions to their union employees.

Graham and DeMint were joined in the letter by Senators Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), John Thune (R-South Dakota), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).

The full text of the letter is below:

December 19, 2011

President Barack Obama

The White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

We are writing to urge you to withdraw the nomination of Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Lafe Solomon. We were alarmed to read Mr. Solomon's comments published by the Associated Press on December 9, 2011. Mr. Solomon threatened, "if we were ever faced with a similar pattern, we might well issue a complaint."

This statement is a direct assault on business expansion in right-to-work states. American employers should have the freedom to make private business decisions without the threat of a government-appointed official filing disparaging and costly litigation. Especially during this economic climate, this sort of bullying by a federal official whom you have handpicked cannot be tolerated. In light of Mr. Solomon's recent actions and continued threats, your withdrawal of Mr. Solomon's nomination as General Counsel to the NLRB would send a powerful signal that you will not allow intimidation and inappropriate interference by one of your nominees for a powerful post.

Instead of serving as an unbiased adjudicating body that protects the rights of employees and employers, the NLRB has demonstrated an unprecedented and unacceptable overreach of authority. Mr. Solomon's recent threat is further pressuring every employer to think twice about relocating within the U.S., while facing no retribution for moving outside the country.

This fear among American businesses to relocate and expand in the U.S. originated from Mr. Solomon's complaint against Boeing filed on April 20, 2011. Mr. Solomon claimed that Boeing's decision to open a second production line for its 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, was an act of retaliation against unionized workers at its first production line in the State of Washington. However, the facts against this claim are unyielding: not one person in the State of Washington lost a job due to this business decision. Rather, 2,000 additional people were hired for the first production line following the decision. On December 9, 2011, the NLRB withdrew its complaint. Clearly having learned nothing from the initial pursuit against Boeing, Mr. Solomon's threat to repeat such a misguided NLRB complaint demonstrates a complete disregard for the law and common sense; thus, this request to withdraw Mr. Solomon's nomination.

We seek a shared goal -- to make America the best place to do business. Unfortunately, we continue to hear from businesses that the economic climate, massive government debt, regulatory burdens, and overall government intervention in private business stifles job growth and creation. It is critically important that we keep American businesses from moving abroad by fostering an economic winning atmosphere in the U.S. Withdrawing Mr. Solomon's nomination would be an important first step.


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