A picture of Representative Rosa L. DeLauro
Rosa D.
Democrat CT 3

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  • Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act

    by Representative Rosa L. DeLauro

    Posted on 2013-04-12

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    DeLAURO. I rise in strong opposition to this ill-conceived bill. It aims to effectively shut down the National Labor Relations Board-- another direct attack by this House majority on workers' rights.

    As we have been debating, a D.C. court recently ruled that two of the Board's current appointments made during a recess within a congressional session are invalid, and therefore NLRB currently lacks a quorum. This ruling is at odds with three other court rulings on the same matter and, in fact, the court did not order the NLRB to stop performing its duties. Nevertheless, the majority is trying to use this one decision as a pretext to stop the Board from issuing any decisions or taking any other actions on behalf of workers. This is a transparent attempt to effectively shut down the NLRB.

    What we need to do here is have the Senate take up the five pending nominations and act quickly so that we can have a functioning NLRB.

    This one court decision is squarely at odds with longstanding practice. Presidents of both parties have routinely made recess appointments during intrasession recesses and without regard to when the vacancy first arose.

    The Congressional Research Service has identified a total of 329 intrasession recess appointments made since 1980. All of these would presumably be invalid under this court's decision, and that includes four such NLRB recess appointments by President Reagan and four by the second President Bush. Tell me, were these eight appointments by President Reagan and President Bush also in violation of the Constitution? If so, then why is this one particular court decision considered the ``right'' one despite the fact that all other courts and past practices disagree with it? The majority simply wants to prevent the NLRB from functioning so that workers who want to invoke their basic right to organize have no recourse. What recourse, for that matter, would employers have against actions by unions that violate labor laws, such as secondary boycotts or unlawful picketing? Under the terms of the National Labor Relations Act, its provisions can only be enforced through the NLRB. There is no provision in the act for private lawsuits.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

    Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentlelady another 30 seconds.

    Ms. DeLAURO. Without the NLRB, we simply do not have a fair workplace that works for everyone.

    This is another in an endless series of Republican attacks on the foundations of the American middle class. It aims to undermine worker protections and accelerate a race to the bottom.

    Let the NLRB do its work. I urge my colleagues to stand up for workers and employers and oppose this bill.

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