In January 2012, President Obama made three so-called recess appointments to the controversial National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) -- however Congress was not actually in recess. The appointments were challenged and in a unanimous decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the president's "recess" appointments were declared unconstitutional earlier this year. Since then, the board's decisions after the January 2012 appointments have come into question and created legal uncertainty for many of our nation's employers. In response, the House has passed H.R. 1120, the Preventing Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. The legislation would cease all actions by the NLRB and would prohibit the NLRB from enforcing any action taken after the unconstitutional appointments in January 2012.
"This president has never had much respect for our Constitution, but his flagrant misuse of the recess appointments is shameful," stated Westmoreland. "In his usual "my way or the highway' approach to things, the president's attempt to fill the NLRB with controversial figures in complete disregard for our Constitution or the will and rights of the American people has backfired and it's time he admit it. That's why we have passed this bill. It will restore certainty to the actions of the NLRB, which is absolutely necessary for American businesses."
H.R. 1120 would protect the right of workers to petition for union elections and does not prevent the NLRB regional offices from accepting and processing unfair labor practice charges filed by an injured party -- employer, employee, or union. However, it does stop the board itself from continuing to operate in violation of our Constitution. The restrictions would be removed after either the US Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the recess appointments, or a quorum of members of the NLRB are constitutionally confirmed by the US Senate, or at the end of the year when the terms of the unconstitutionally appointed board members expires.
"Not only did the president trample all over the Constitution with these appointments, he has wasted the American taxpayers' and American businesses' money," stated Westmoreland. "Every decision the NLRB has made over the last year, has been for nothing. That means the president has forced American businesses to spend time and money to comply with unconstitutional rules. Not to mention the fact that he has forced the American taxpayers to fund their unconstitutional crusade against American businesses. And now is the time to stop this. That's why I supported H.R. 1120 and I hope that the Senate will take this bill up immediately to reduce the uncertainty the president's unconstitutional actions have created."
The decision in the case by the US Court of Appeals, Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board, stated that Congress was not in recess and that President Obama violated the Constitution when he made the appointments. The case also calls into question the appointment of Richard Cordray to head the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.