Senate clears 5 for NLRB; others' fates unclear
By The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 7:45 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Tuesday to fill all five seats on the National Labor Relations Board and prepared to consider President Obama's picks for top diplomatic and law enforcement posts as the chamber whittled down a pile of stalled nominations.
The votes included the last of the seven nominees that were part of a bipartisan deal this month in which some Republicans agreed to end stalling tactics. Democratic leaders hope to push other nominations through the Senate before Congress begins its summer recess this weekend, but some face uncertain fates.
Even so, that bipartisan agreement — in which Democrats dropped a threat to change Senate rules to weaken minority party clout — has let Obama fill some major gaps in his second-term administration. That deal and the momentum it has spawned have let him install leaders at agencies including the FBI, the Labor Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The chamber moved rapidly for the normally glacial Senate and approved three Democrats and two Republicans to serve on the NLRB, which helps resolve labor disputes.
Without confirmation of at least one of them before Congress' recess, much of the NLRB's work would have ground to a halt by late August. That is when NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce's five-year term expires, which would leave the agency with just two members — short of the three legally needed for it to conduct business.
In addition to renewing Pearce for another five-year term, senators confirmed Democrats Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer, who both have long experience as labor lawyers, to the NLRB. The two Republicans approved are a pair of attorneys who have worked with employers on labor issues, Philip A. Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson III.
On Wednesday, senators planned to begin considering Obama's nomination of B. Todd Jones to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It will take up his selection of Samantha Power to become U.N. ambassador.
In a turnabout, Democrats were expressing optimism that they would win the 60 votes needed to end Republican roadblocks against a vote on Jones, whom Obama nominated in January to head ATF. The agency, which has not had a confirmed director since 2006, helps enforce federal gun laws.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline
- Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead, audit finds
- Grandmother left vengeful note in boys’ slayings, then committed suicide, police say
- Colorado deaths stoke marijuana worries
- Wyatt Earp gun sells for $225K at auction
- Records exonerate ‘X-Men’ director, attorney says
- SpaceX supply ship makes Easter cargo delivery to space station
- Iranian envoy officially blocked by law
- Judge strikes down Minnesota’s anti-coal law as unconstitutional
- Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug
- Global economy recovering from ‘disaster,’ IMF says