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Public Statements

Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GUTHRIE. I thank the chairman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1120.

This bill is important for our employers, employees, and our Constitution. It has already been said, but I'd like to make that point again: the President does not have the authority to decide when the Senate is in session. His recess appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board was against the law and the tradition of separated powers inherent in the Constitution.

Some on the other side will say that the impasse at the NLRB is the fault of Republicans, that our colleagues in the Senate are acting as obstructionists; but I will remind my colleagues that, during the Bush administration, Senator Reid used pro forma sessions to block recess appointments just the same, and he did not make recess appointments when the Senate was in pro forma session, which is different than the situation here.

The real solution isn't to appoint board members that a Democratically-controlled Senate can't approve; it is to nominate reasonable individuals who will adjudicate our Nation's labor laws without bias and with an eye towards the goal we all share--a healthy economy with adequate worker protection. That's what this bill before us does.

This bill would prohibit the NLRB from enforcing any actions that required a quorum, or from issuing new decisions requiring a quorum, until a Board quorum is confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate, the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the January 2012 recess appointments, or the term of the 2012 recess appointments expires.

Unless Congress provides relief, employers and unions will be forced to either comply with costly orders that may be overturned or to litigate them on a case-by-case basis. Both of these paths are cost prohibitive. I urge the passage of this important bill.

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