President Obama appointed 15 nominees to administrative posts on Saturday without Senate confirmation. The list of appointees included Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a highly controversial choice that has spurred the anger of the GOP, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many other business groups.
Obama was able to bypass the necessary confirmation of the Senate—which overwhelmingly rejected Becker’s nomination last month—by appointing his candidates while Congress was in recess. The White House justified the move by claiming that Republicans have purposefully set up "roadblocks" to stall progress, resulting in an "unprecedented level of obstruction."
All 41 Republicans in the Senate and more than 20 business groups wrote to Obama last week, urging him not to appoint Becker, a former lawyer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who may unfairly represent the interest of labor unions, the GOP argued.
"Time and again questions have been raised over Mr. Becker’s ability to serve in an honest and impartial manner on the NLRB, yet this administration chose to ignore the questions and concerns and instead forced their will on the American people," said Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).
In response, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated that the five-member labor board has been operating with only two members while "our country is recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," according to Fox News.