(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after voting for, and the U.S. House passed, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act (H.R. 1120), which requires the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to cease all activity that requires a quorum and prohibits them from enforcing any action taken on or after January 4, 2012, when unconstitutional recess appointments were made, until the issues involving the current board are resolved:
“President Obama’s unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB have plunged workplaces across the country into uncertainty. The very workers that the president claims to support are trapped in legal limbo because of his blatant disregard for the Constitution and rule of law. Our legislation provides clarity by prohibiting the enforcement of NLRB rulings made under the unconstitutional appointees. If the Democrat-led Senate has any interest in reasserting their constitutional authority to advise and consent on appointments then they should follow our lead and pass this bill.”
On January 4, 2012, President Obama made three recess appointments to the NLRB, despite the fact that the Senate was meeting regularly in pro forma sessions. On January 25, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously held that the recess appointments were unconstitutional.
H.R. 1120 also:
Protects the right of workers to petition for union elections and also does not prevent the NLRB regional offices from accepting and processing unfair labor practice charges filed by an injured party.
Removes restrictions on the board’s authority after one of the following events occurs:
o The U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the recess appointments; or
o A board quorum is constitutionally confirmed by the Senate; or
o The terms of the unconstitutional recess appointees expire when the First Session of the 113th Congress adjourns
Ensures any action involving the so-called recess appointees is reviewed and approved by a future board that has been constitutionally appointed.