Recess Appointments Thrill Labor, Anger Business

Obama announced that he would fill vacancies on the board charged with enforcing labor law.

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President Barack Obama (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

After the bold recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, President Barack Obama is prepared to flex his considerable executive muscle again.

He announced on Wednesday that he will fill three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency charged with enforcing labor law.

In a statement explaining his decision, the president said that "the American people deserve to have qualified public servants fighting for them every day -- whether it is to enforce new consumer protections or uphold the rights of working Americans. We can't wait to act to strengthen the economy and restore security for our middle class and those trying to get in it."

The decision is certain to incense Republicans, many of whom feuded all last year with an NLRB they saw as overly union-friendly and anti-business, the Huffington Post reports.

The labor board lost its quorum yesterday as the term of board member Craig Becker came to an end -- essentially crippling the agency, no doubt to the pleasure of many conservatives. Although the recess appointments will probably be challenged legally by business groups, the move could allow the board to continue operating without disruption. According to the White House, Obama plans to appoint union lawyer Richard Griffin, current Labor Department official Sharon Block and NLRB counsel Terence Flynn.

The recess appointments will bring renewed attention to the labor board among conservatives in the coming days and weeks. In a tweet he sent out shortly after the White House announcement, [Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ] Graham asked, "Mr. President, hasn't the NLRB already done enough damage?"...

Sen. Graham asks a good question, but he is asking it of the wrong person. He should ask it of himself and fellow members of the Republican Party. Americans have had enough of the petty bickering among congressional lawmakers. President Obama apparently has, too. He is now doing what it takes to get the job done.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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