As part of the deal struck earlier this month by Senate Republicans and Democrats to stave off the “nuclear” option, the Senate on Tuesday approved all five pending nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.
The slate included the two new nominees — AFL-CIO attorney Nancy Schiffer and NLRB counsel Kent Hirozawa — who replaced President Obama’s more controversial original picks, as well as the current NLRB chairman, Mark Pearce, and two Republicans, Los Angeles attorney Harry Johnson and Chicago attorney Philip Miscimarra.
Under the Senate no-nukes deal, in order to move his executive nominations, Obama withdrew the two NLRB nominees whose recess appointments last year are now under Supreme Court review and replaced them with Shiffer and Hirozawa.
The Senate’s on a bit of a roll approving White House nominees: On Monday, the chamber approved James Comey to head the FBI, and it is expected to soon clear the nomination of Samantha Power to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Although there’s no nuclear fallout in the air, things could get testy when the Senate this week also takes up the nomination of B. Todd Jones, Obama’s pick to be the first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in seven years.
Jones has faced heavy criticism from Republican senators, particularly Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has raised questions about Jones’s handling of cases in Minnesota and his treatment of whistleblowers.