Today, the House passed H.R. 1120, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. In January 2012, President Obama installed three so-called recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while Congress was not in recess. In the wake of the president's unprecedented action, efforts to overturn board rulings were initiated in various federal courts on the basis that the board itself was no longer legitimate. In a unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the president's recess appointments have been declared unconstitutional. Since the decision, legal uncertainty surrounding the board has only increased. As a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) is a cosponsor of this legislation and issued the following statement upon passage:
"I am deeply disappointed with the President's decision to circumvent the Senate and make unconstitutional appointments to the NLRB. The law requires a labor board that functions properly and acts responsibly. Without it, the rights of workers are diminished and employers are left in legal limbo. While the President is ultimately responsible for fixing the crisis he created, Congress cannot stand by and allow a dysfunctional board to wreak havoc in our nation's workplaces. The Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act responds to the ongoing legal chaos surrounding the NLRB."
This legislation would prevent further labor-management instability by requiring the board to cease all activity that requires a three member quorum. The bill also prohibits the board from enforcing any action taken after January 2012 that required a quorum.