For the first time since being sworn into office, Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) got a chance to flex his conservative muscles by voting to block President Obama’s nominee to the National Labor Relations Board. As it turned out, however, the GOP did not need Brown’s 41st vote to sustain the filibuster.
Senate Democratic leaders failed to muster the 60 votes necessary to approve the nomination of Craig Becker to the board that resolves disputes between unions and management. The final tally was 52-33 in favor of appointing Becker. Fifteen senators were not able to cast their vote due to violent snowstorms in the Washington area.
Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), crossed the aisle and voted to block the president’s nomination.
"Craig Becker’s theories about how the workplace should function, if ever put into practice, would impose new burdens on employers, hurt job creation and slow down the recovery," said Brown.
Becker has also been blasted by business leaders who fear that, if appointed, he would further empower unions by embracing the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow labor groups to have a stronger hand in organizing employees, according to The Washington Times. Republicans have heavily criticized the bill, which is scheduled to be voted on in the Senate later this year.