The dove of peace had barely lit on the halls of Congress this week when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., chased it away with down-the-party-lines National Labor Relations Board nomination gambit.
Reid moved to limit debate on the controversial request to name Richard F. Griffin Jr. as NLRB general counsel. Griffin was a player in an earlier NLRB drama in which President Obama tried to sneak him and a couple other nominees onto the board by claiming them as recess appointments. Griffin’s name was subsequently withdrawn in a compromise with the GOP. Then, last month, his name bubbled up for the vacant spot of general counsel.
Reid’s action to limit debate on the appointment suggests the administration is unwilling to let go of the defeat it sustained over his original nomination. Not surprisingly, signs are that, although the Democrats have the votes to push Griffin’s name through, the GOP will raise a fuss.
The GOP has already made its position clear on sticking Griffin in the g.c. job. When he was nominated, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions panel, spoke out against it based on Griffin’s pro-union status.
“Mr. Griffin has the legal credentials but his background as a union advocate and his work as general counsel for one of the major unions doesn’t do anything to help me believe that he will improve the situation at the NLRB,” Alexander said. “I can count, so I know that the Democratic majority will report Mr. Griffin’s name to the floor and that he will have an up or down vote and will be confirmed, but I’m going to vote no.”
So good to know everything is back to the normal bickering again.