Charles Krauthammer repeats the familiar Republican complaint that Craig Becker, President Obama's new appointment to the National Labor Relations Board, is an unacceptable pick because he's an "advocate": But the one that really I think is offensive in the group is … this guy [Craig] Becker [who] is essentially an agent, an advocate of the unions in what is — the NLRB — a quasi-judicial body. So it's like having a prosecutor on the jury. You really ought not do that. ... In Krauthammer's metaphor, the NLRB is like a "jury," and the board members ought to be impartial.
Not surprisingly, the White House has announced a set of recess appointments, including Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. This assertion of executive power is totally unprecedented. To be sure, previous presidents have made recess appointments, but none of them, in the entire history of this fragile and now-teetering republic, has ever appointed Craig Becker. If you don't know why Becker's nomination is a big deal, read John Judis.
A few weeks ago, John Judis wrote an excellent piece about how Republicans reversed earlier support and decided to block Craig Becker, President Obama's appointment to the National Labor Relations Board: When the nominations came before the committee last October, Enzi and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski joined Democrats to send the slate to the Senate floor by a vote of 15-8.
In a few weeks, Barack Obama will have a chance to do something he hasn’t done particularly well during his first year in office: successfully defy his opponents and, at the same time, reassure his most loyal supporters. At issue is the fate of Craig Becker, one of Obama’s nominees for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Last month, Becker was denied a vote on his nomination when Senate Democrats failed to overcome a GOP filibuster. Now, the Senate’s coming Easter break will give Obama an opportunity to put Becker on the NLRB via recess appointment.