Controversial National Labor Relations Board nominee Craig Becker shot down in Senate 

By a vote of 52 to 33, the Obama administration nominee to the National Labor Relations Board, Craig Becker, just failed to get the 60 votes needed for his nomination to proceed in the Senate.

Yesterday, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., came out against Becker's nomination. Senate Republicans and grassroots conservatives had been opposing Becker's nomination from the get-go. As a law professor, Becker had written a law review article about how the NLRB could be used to remake labor regulations in favor of unions without congressional approval. More recently, Becker had acted as counsel for the SEIU and AFL-CIO. Becker was perceived by opponents as marching in lockstep with a Big Labor agenda and unlikely to give businesses a fair shake on the NLRB.

Labor leaders were pushing Becker's nomination hard and were reportedly 'fuming' when Scott Brown was seated earlier than expected. This gave Senate Republicans the 41 votes necessary to threaten to filibuster his nomination.

Business interests are also quite pleased by this development. Here is the statement just released by the National Association of Manufacturers:

The Senate today failed to invoke cloture on the nomination of Craig Becker to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB.) With 33 bipartisan votes to oppose moving his nomination forward, the Senate recognized that the views of Mr. Becker are far outside the mainstream and ill-suited for a member of the NLRB, an independent agency that carries out quasi-judicial deliberations. (The vote was 52-33; 60 votes are needed to achieve cloture.)

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) appreciates the Senators who took into account the views of hundreds of manufacturers who wrote this week to register their objections to Becker’s nomination. These companies recognize that the changes in labor law that Mr. Becker has advocated would limit the rights of employers and employees alike and promote adversarial workplace relations. The NAM sent a letter today to each Senator strongly opposing Mr. Becker’s nomination. Excerpt:

Mr. Becker has asserted views that the NLRB should rewrite union election rules in favor of union organizers. Such policy decisions should only be determined by Congress. The NAM is particularly concerned that if confirmed, Mr. Becker would seek to advance aspects of the job-killing Employee Free Choice Act through actions of the NLRB.

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Mark Hemingway

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