Immediate action called for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in connection with the Becker nomination to the NLRB. See Chamber’s release below. Additional information about the possible impact of this appointment will be found in several recent Jackson Lewis EFCA and Labor Law Reform blog. If you would like to discuss the significance of this development or have any questions please call Mike Lotito, Marty Payson, Phil Rosen or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.
TO: All Members of the U.S. Chamber’s Labor Relations Committee
We wanted to take a moment to update you on the nomination of Craig Becker to the NLRB. As you may recall, at the end of last year his nomination was returned to the White House since no unanimous consent agreement was reached to keep his nomination pending (unanimous consent was reached for the nominations of Brian Hayes and Mark Pearce who are still pending).
Last week, the president re-submitted Mr. Becker’s nomination to the Senate. Today, the Senate HELP Committee scheduled a hearing on Mr. Becker’s nomination for Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 4:00 p.m. It has also scheduled committee consideration of Mr. Becker’s nomination for Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
It is expected that should the Committee again approve Mr. Becker’s nomination, one or more Senators will place a hold on the nomination. However, a hold does not prohibit a nomination from moving – rather it means that supporters of the nominee need to schedule floor time and get 60 votes to force a vote on the nominee.
Even though the Massachusetts election seems like old news, Sen.-Elect Brown has not been seated and does not expect to be seated until Feb. 11 – that means Senate leadership has a narrow window to try to confirm Mr. Becker during this lame-duck period while they maintain a supermajority of 60 votes.
It should also be noted that while Republican Senators Mike Enzi and Lisa Murkowski supported Becker’s nomination last year as part of a package, it is not at all clear that they will support Mr. Becker this time around especially in light of the way Becker supporters appear to be ramming this through.
Thus, now is the critical time for those opposing the Becker nomination to weigh in both with HELP Committee members and with moderate Senators. The Chamber earlier sent a letter (link below) calling for a hearing on Mr. Becker and we also coordinated a joint sign-on letter for members of the business community opposing the nomination (link below). There is another joint sign-on letter being prepared for national trade associations and if you would like the text or more information please let me know (this letter is for national trade associations only).
I would encourage those of you with grassroots programs to activate them – we sent out a grassroots letter a few days ago and quickly generated more than 6,000 letters to Capitol Hill. We plan to do another grassroots communication as well.
Key targets on the HELP Committee include Democrat Michael Bennet (CO) (he is new to the Committee) and Republicans Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Mike Enzi (WY).
Key targets not on the HELP Committee include Republicans Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), George Voinovich (OH) and Democrats Ben Nelson (NE), Lincoln (AR), Pryor (AR), Landrieu (LA), Bayh (IN), Hagan (NC), Webb (VA), and Warner (VA).
Chamber letter calling for a hearing:
October association sign-on letter:
Background information on what to expect from the Obama NLRB:
Michael J. Eastman
Executive Director, Labor Law Policy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20062