Mitch McConnell Put On Notice: Stop Blocking Labor Board Nominations

House Democrats joined with victims of unfair labor practices today to deliver a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, signed by 201 Democratic House members, asking him to stop the obstruction in the Senate and to allow votes on President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board nominees.

Democratic Reps. Linda Sanchez of California, Joe Courtney of Connecticut, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Bill Foster of Illinois spoke at a press conference to put pressure on the minority leader and underscore what the NLRB does for 80 million working Americans.

“We are here this morning because Republicans are at it again, doing all that they can to crush the rights of American working families. Seventy-eight years ago this month, the foundation for the rights of American workers was established with the writing of the National Labor Relations Act. How are Senator Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans celebrating this historic event? By threatening to block the nomination of National Labor Relations Board,” Sanchez said. “This is nothing more than a shameless attempt to shut down the National Labor Relations Board and their ability to protect hard working Americans from unfair labor practices.”

“Today, 201 House Democrats have a clear message for Senator McConnell,” Sanchez continued. “It’s time to stop dismantling the NLRB, it’s time to stop denying workers critical work protections, it’s time to stop the obstruction and allow the Senate to fulfill it’s responsibility to consider the president’s NLRB nominees.”

“Our letter is going to Senator McConnell telling him that he should drop blocking the consideration of these nominees so that we can have a functioning National Labor Relations Board,” Courtney said.

“For more than a century, labor rights have been critical for the success of the American worker, the American family, and the American economy,” Pocan said. “As a small business owner, I understand that treating your employees with respect is good for your bottom line, but for the bad actors, the NLRB protects both the company and the employee.”

“Senator McConnell and Congressional Republicans have used every tool in their arsenal and trick in the book to strip the NLRB of its power, and now they are refusing to allow even a vote on President Obama’s nominees to the board, deeply undermining the effectiveness of this agency,” Pocan continued. “Without a fully functioning NLRB, 80 million private sector workers will be deprived of critical rights.”

The National Labor Relations Board has been in a state of limbo due to the GOP obstruction of new board nominees. The NLRB is not being singled out, as Republican senators are conducting or threatening filibusters of many of President Obama’s nominees. But the NLRB obstruction is putting enforcement of labor laws on hold and threatens to force the agency to grind to a complete halt. The letter delivered to McConnell today asked him to stop the threats, and allow an up or down vote for these nominees.

The text of the letter can be found here.

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