Partisan gridlock has kept many of the president’s nominees this year in confirmation limbo, but Senate lawmakers last week agreed to approve some of them as part of a deal to avoid the so-called “nuclear option” with the filibuster rules that allowed the delays.
In exchange, the president replaced two of his NLRB choices, both of whom he had already placed on the board in a controversial unilateral move in 2012 — the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of his actions.
Obama’s new picks are Nancy Shiffer, associate general counsel at the AFL-CIO, and Kent Hirozawa, who is chief counsel to NLRB chairman Mark Gaston Pearce.
The board needs at least three members to issue rulings. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee has already approved three of Obama’s other NLRB nominees: Gaston and labor attorneys Harry Johnson and Phil Miscimarra.
The full Senate has not voted on whether to confirm those nominees. However, the Senate last week approved a slate of other Obama picks, including Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, and U.S. Export-Import Bank head Fred Hochberg.
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