GOP Filibusters Obama Appointee: The Senate is Broken

February 10, 2010

(ChattahBox)—- Late yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted “against” attorney Craig Becker’s nomination to the National Labor Relations Board in a 52-33 vote. But that vote tally represeted 52 votes FOR Becker and 33 AGAINST. In the dysfunctional body called the Senate these days, a clear majority loses to the Republicans’ constant filibusters, which requires 60 votes to block. By all accounts, Becker who has served as counsel to the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO, is eminently qualified for the position, but like most of President Obama’s nominees, he has become the victim of Republican obstructionism that is endangering the ability of the federal government to function.

Becker’s nomination to the NLRB is desperately needed. The board has been forced to operate with just two members instead of the normal five for the past two years. And the the Supreme Court may even invalidate decisions from the two-person board as illegal.

Two conservative Democrats joined the Republicans in the filibuster and refused to allow their own caucus to even bring the nomination to the floor for an up-or-down vote: Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.

Richard Trumka, president of labor federation AFL-CIO, said it was “reprehensible that a minority in the U.S. Senate has blocked an up-or-down vote”

President Obama may be forced into making recess appointments to ensure that federal governmental agencies can continue to function.

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