As expected, the Senate HELP Committee has approved the nomination of Craig Becker to the NLRB on a party line vote. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s release below provides additional details.
TO: Members of the U.S. Chamber’s Labor Relations Committee and other interested members of the business community
As scheduled the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing on Tuesday on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Today it voted to approve the nomination on a party line vote of 13 to 10. It is expected that one or more Senators may try to place a “hold” on the nomination, but as you may know a hold can be overcome through a cloture vote (requiring 60 votes).
When we alerted you to this last week, we noted that we were especially concerned that Senate leadership might try to move this nomination to the Senate floor before Sen.-Elect Scott Brown (R-MA) could be sworn in, which was expected on Feb. 11. Until Sen.-Elect Brown is sworn in, Democrats enjoy a 60 vote majority and thus, if they are all united, can break any Republican filibuster or hold.
However, all signs now indicate that Sen.-Elect Brown will be sworn in today.
At this point, we still expect Senate leadership to attempt to force a vote on Mr. Becker’s nomination for early next week. We understand that the original plan was for Majority Leader Reid to file a cloture petition on the Becker nomination on Friday, with a vote scheduled for the afternoon of Monday, February 8.
We do not know where all the votes stand on the cloture, but we are in a better position today than we have been previously, and there is a real chance that this nomination can be blocked. In addition to having Sen. Brown in place (and we should note that we do not know for sure how he intends to vote, but the chances of him voting with the business community are greater than the chances of his predecessor), we also have Sen. Enzi (R-AK) and Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) who have now voted against the nomination in today’s committee consideration (you may recall that they both supported a package of NLRB nominees last year that included Becker).
However, to be successful, we need to continue to communicate with key Senators to ensure that they realize the importance of opposing this nomination. We have activated our grassroots network with tremendous success (more than 25,000 contacts to the Hill so far) and would encourage those of you who are able to do the same.
A list of key Senators follows:
Bennet (CO) (supported Becker in Committee, but should still hear from business)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Enzi (WY) (voted against Becker in Committee, deserves thanks)
Murkowski (AK) (voted against Becker in Committee, but did so by proxy, so reinforcement would be helpful)
Also, you may be interested in the Chamber’s latest letter in opposition to the nomination, which can be accessed here: