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Public Statements

Committee Republicans Urge President to Work with Congress on Reforms to Rein in NLRB

House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans today expressed strong opposition to the administration's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. In a letter to President Obama, committee Republicans describe the board's recent job destroying actions and challenge the constitutionally suspect manner in which the president made the three recess appointments:

In June, 2011, you stated, "We can't afford to have labor and management fighting all the time, at a time when we're competing against Germany and China and other countries that want to sell goods all around the world." We wholeheartedly agree. With 13 million workers unemployed, job creators and labor leaders must be partners in the effort to put Americans back to work.

Unfortunately, the policies advanced by your NLRB appointees have created uncertainty and unnecessary strife in America's workplaces. Over the last three years, the NLRB has weakened protections for workers, piled additional burdens on employers, and strengthened union leaders' ability to undermine the success of businesses nationwide. …

The lack of public disclosure surrounding these board nominees is shocking and unprecedented. Individuals from across the political divide have questioned the legality of these recess appointments, casting a shadow of suspicion over all future actions taken by the board. One former Democratic board member, Dennis Devaney, recently noted that "anything they do is going to be subject to being undone, because they didn't have the authority to act."

The members also call on the president to work with Congress on legislative solutions to rein in the authority of the NLRB, citing bipartisan proposals passed by the House of Representatives that reform the NLRB in an effort to protect workers and employers:

In your most recent radio address, you stated you would do "whatever it takes to move this economy forward." Toward that end, we respectfully ask for your commitment to work with Congress on responsible legislation that will rein in the powers of the NLRB. As noted earlier, the House of Representatives has already approved with bipartisan support two pieces of legislation that reverse the NLRB's job destroying agenda. As elected policymakers -- directly accountable to the American public -- we should not surrender our responsibility to enact fundamental changes to federal labor law to a board of unelected bureaucrats.

The following committee Republicans signed the letter:

Rep. John Kline (MN)
Rep. Phil Roe (TN)
Rep. Thomas Petri (WI)
Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (CA)
Rep. Judy Biggert (IL)
Rep. Joe Wilson (SC)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA)
Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA)
Rep. Tim Walberg (MI)
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN)
Rep. Richard Hanna (NY)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN)
Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC)
Rep. Lou Barletta (PA)
Rep. Kristi Noem (SD)
Rep. Martha Roby (AL)
Rep. Joe Heck (NV)
Rep. Dennis Ross (FL)
Rep. Mike Kelly (PA)


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