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Public Statements

Letter to Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate - National Labor Relations Board Nominees

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-38) and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) joined American workers at a press conference calling on Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to stop threatening to block a Senate vote on National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) nominees. At today's press conference, Sánchez and Courtney also released a letter signed by 201 House Democrats demanding that Senator McConnell end these ideological attacks on workers' rights and consider the full package of President Obama's NLRB nominees.

"More than 80 million private sector employees rely on the National Labor Relations Board for protection from unfair labor practices," said Congresswoman Sánchez. "By threatening to shut down the NLRB's ability to function, Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans undermine the very foundation of our country's labor laws and workplace protections. Republicans should stop this reckless attack on workers' rights. The American people deserve better than this. They deserve to have a fully functioning NLRB so that workers are on equal ground with their employers."

"This blatant attempt to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from functioning for our nation's workers and employers is shameful," said Congressman Courtney. "Without a functioning board, appeals would not be heard, decisions would not be enforced, and violations of workers' rights would go without remedy. I call on Senator McConnell to drop these obstructionist tactics and allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to consider the President's appointments to the NLRB."

The full text of the letter is below.

July 9, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell

317 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator McConnell:

We are writing to express our serious concern over recent press reports detailing your position regarding the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Specifically, your office stated that the Senate will not vote on the full package of Board nominees unless current Board members Ms. Sharon Block and Mr. Richard Griffin are replaced. This is nothing more than a blatant and cynical attempt to shut down the NLRB's lawful ability to investigate and remedy unfair labor practices.

As you are well aware, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC Circuit), Noel Canning v. NLRB, decision to invalidate the President Obama's recess appointments of Ms. Block and Mr. Griffin is not the final legal say on the matter. Therefore, their current nominations should not be disqualified. The President has asked the Supreme Court to review the decision, and there is pending litigation in at least five other district courts. Demanding the resignation of Ms. Block and Mr. Griffin is counterproductive and ignores both legal process and precedent.

At the moment, only three members are sitting on the NLRB, with one member's term due to expire in August. As a result, the Board is at risk of being unable to function. Furthermore, employers are already using the Noel Canning decision to challenge the NLRB's decisions and the DC Circuit Court is putting these cases on hold, leaving workers without remedy when they are illegally fired or when their employer refuses to negotiate in good faith.

These delays and the uncertainty that they cause have real world consequences for American workers. For example, Marcus Hedger from Illinois has lost his family home while waiting for a final decision on his illegal firing[1].In September 2012 a unanimous bipartisan panel of the NLRB determined in that Mr. Hedger was terminated as a result of union activity and ordered that he be reinstated with back pay. However, the company appealed that decision to the DC Circuit Court. In January, the case was delayed due to the Noel Canning decision, leaving Mr. Hedger without any remedy. It has been several years since the situation began and he still is struggling for justice.

The NLRB provides critical protections to American workers and gives businesses much needed labor certainty. Each day that the Board sits idle is one in which workers' lawful rights are put at risk. This continued ideological obstructionism is denying hardworking Americans the crucial worker protections that the NLRB provides. We urge you to withdraw this partisan demand and allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to consider presidential appointments, and to do so without continued delay.

Sincerely,

Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38)

Joe Courtney (CT-2)

Robert E. Andrews (NJ-1)

Ron Barber (AZ-2)

John Barrow (GA-12)

Karen Bass (CA-37)

Joyce Beatty (OH-3)

Xavier Becerra (CA-34)

Ami Bera (CA-7)

Tim Bishop (NY-1)

Sanford Bishop, Jr. (GA-2)

Earl Blumenauer (OR-3)

Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1)

Madeleine Bordallo (GU- AL)

Robert A. Brady (PA-1)

Bruce Braley (IA-1)

Corrine Brown (FL-5)

Julia Brownley (CA-26)

Cheri Bustos (IL-17)

G.K. Butterfield (NC-1)

Lois Capps (CA-24)

Michael E. Capuano (MA-7)

Tony Cardenas (CA-29)

John Carney (DE-AL)

Andre Carson (IN-7)

Matt Cartwright (PA-17)

Kathy Castor (FL-14)

Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

Donna Christensen (VI-AL)

Judy Chu (CA-27)

David Cicilline (RI-1)

Yvette Clarke (NY-9)

William Lacy Clay (MO-1)

Emmanuel Cleaver (MO-5)

James Clyburn (SC-6)

Steve Cohen (TN-9)

Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11)

John Conyers (MI-13)

Jim Cooper (TN-5)

Jim Costa (CA-16)

Joe Crowley (NY-14)

Elijah Cummings (MD-7)

Susan Davis (CA-53)

Danny K. Davis (IL-7)

Peter DeFazio (OR-4)

Diana DeGette (CO-1)

John Delaney (MD-6)

Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)

Susan DelBene (WA- 1)

Ted Deutch (FL-21)

John D. Dingell (MI-12)

Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)

Mike Doyle (PA-14)

Tammy Duckworth (IL-8)

Donna Edwards (MD-4)

Keith Ellison (MN-5)

Eliot Engel (NY-16)

Bill Enyart (IL-12)

Anna Eshoo (CA-18)

Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)

Sam Farr (CA-20)

Chaka Fattah (PA-2)

Bill Foster (IL-11)

Lois Frankel (FL-22)

Marcia Fudge (OH-11)

Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2)

Pete P. Gallego (TX-23)

John Garamendi (CA-3)

Joe Garcia (FL-26)

Alan Grayson (FL-9)

Al Green (TX-9)

Gene Green (TX-29)

Raul Grijalva (AZ-3)

Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4)

Janice Hahn (CA-44)

Colleen Hanabusa (HI-1)

Alcee Hastings (FL-20)

Denny Heck (WA-10)

Brian Higgins (NY-26)

Jim Himes (CT-4)

Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)

Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL)

Rush Holt (NJ-12)

Michael M. Honda (CA-17)

Steve Horsford (NV-4)

Steny Hoyer (MD-5)

Jared Huffman (CA-2)

Steve Israel (NY-3)

Shelia Jackson Lee (TX-18)

Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8)

Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)

Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (GA-4)

Marcy Kaptur (OH-9)

William Keating (MA-9)

Robin Kelly (IL-2)

Joe Kennedy III (MA-4)

Dan Kildee (MI-5)

Derek Kilmer (WA-6)

Ron Kind (WI-3)

Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1)

James Langevin (RI-2)

Rick Larsen (WA-2)

John Larson (CT-1)

Barbara Lee (CA-13)

Sander Levin (MI-9)

John Lewis (GA-5)

Dan Lipinski (IL-3)

Dave Loebsack (IA-2)

Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)

Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)

Nita Lowey (NY-17)

Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3)

Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1)

Stephen Lynch (MA-8)

Dan Maffei (NY-24)

Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)

Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)

Edward Markey (MA-5)

Doris Matsui (CA-6)

Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)

Betty McCollum (MN-4)

Jim McDermott (WA-7)

Jim McGovern (MA-2)

Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2)

Jerry McNerney (CA-9)

Gregory Meeks (NY-5)

Grace Meng (NY-6)

Michael Michaud (ME-2)

George Miller (CA-11)

Gwen Moore (WI-4)

James P. Moran (VA -8)

Patrick Murphy (FL-18)

Jerrold Nadler (NY-10)

Grace Napolitano (CA-32)

Richard E. Neal (MA-1)

Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35)

Rick Nolan (MN-8)

Beto O'Rourke (TX-16)

Bill Owens (NY-21)

Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6)

Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9)

Ed Pastor (AZ-7)

Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10)

Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)

Gary Peters (MI-14)

Scott Peters (CA-52)

Collin Peterson (MN-7)

Pedro Pierluisi (PR-AL)

Chellie Pingree (ME-1)

Mark Pocan (WI-2)

Jared Polis (CO-2)

David Price (NC-4)

Mike Quigley (IL-5)

Nick J. Rahall, II (WV-3)

Charles Rangel (NY-13)

Cedric Richmond (LA-2)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)

Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36)

Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2)

Bobby Rush (IL-1)

Tim Ryan (OH-13)

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP-AL)

Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)

John Sarbanes (MD-3)

Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)

Adam Schiff (CA-28)

Brad Schneider (IL-10)

Kurt Schrader (OR-5)

Allison Schwartz (PA-13)

David Scott (GA-13)

Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-3)

Jose E. Serrano (NY-15)

Terri Sewell (AL-7)

Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1)

Brad Sherman (CA-30)

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-9)

Albio Sires (NJ-8)

Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25)

Adam Smith (WA-9)

Jackie Speier (CA-14)

Eric Swalwell (CA-15)

Mark Allan Takano (CA-41)

Mike Thompson (CA-5)

Bennie Thompson (MS-2)

John Tierney (MA-6)

Dina Titus (NV-1)

Paul Tonko (NY-20)

Niki Tsongas (MA-3)

Chris Van Hollen (MD-8)

Juan Vargas (CA-51)

Marc Veasey (TX-33)

Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Nydia Velazquez (NY-7)

Pete Visclosky (IN-1)

Tim Walz (MN-1)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)

Maxine Waters (CA-43)

Henry A. Waxman (CA-33)

Peter Welch (VT-AL)

Frederica Wilson (FL-24)

John Yarmuth (KY-3)


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