Today, Congressman Visclosky voted against H.R. 1120, a legislative attempt to strip the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of its ability to resolve differences between American business and labor. The bill narrowly passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 219-209.
"The National Labor Relations Board plays a vital role by ensuring financial security and economic opportunity for America's workers and businesses," Visclosky said. "We must allow it to perform its function in order to create an open, fair, and prosperous economy built on better wages and working conditions for each and every American."
H.R. 1120 would prevent the NLRB from issuing any new decisions, enforcing existing decisions, or advance any rulemaking in preventing and remedying unfair labor practices or defending the right of employees to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers. It would accomplish this aim by denying President Obama's duly-appointed nominees to the NLRB from taking any action.
Visclosky explained that a judicial case regarding the constitutionality of the appointments to the NLRB is already being appealed to the Supreme Court. Passing legislation to deny the NLRB its authority, he argued, is both wrong and unnecessary with judicial action pending. "We should allow the judicial process to proceed before approving legislation that would affect this issue," Visclosky said.
President Obama's recess appointments to the NLRB are consistent with the more than 300 recess appointments made dating back to the Reagan presidency. Visclosky said that workers and businesses alike rely on the NLRB for the fair enforcement of labor laws, and that denying NLRB officials their authority mandated by federal law would needlessly place American workers at risk.