The Senate today has unanimously confirmed Mark Gaston Pearce and Brian Hayes as members of the National Labor Relations Board. President Obama had nominated the two, along with nominee Craig Becker, in July, 2009. After a Senate filibuster held the nominations up on account of Mr. Becker's inclusion, in March, 2010, President Obama made recess appointments of Mr. Becker and Mr. Pearce. At that time, the President declined to take any action on the nomination of Mr. Hayes, the sole Republican nominee.
Mr. Hayes' confirmed appointment will expire in December 2012, while Mr. Pearce's term will end in August 2013. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a press release noting:
When Mr. Hayes joins the Board, the NLRB will be at full five-member strength for the first time since December 2007. The Board operated with only two members for 27 months, until April 2010, as confirmation of nominees named by Presidents Bush and Obama were stalled. The two members issued about 600 decisions in matters on which they could agree. However, last week a divided Supreme Court ruled that they were not authorized to do so.
Member Peter Schaumber's term expires in August of this year. Chairman Wilma Liebman’s term will expire in August of 2011, and Member Craig Becker's recess appointment is due to expire at the end of 2011. In our post this past weekend about the appointment of Lafe Solomon to be Acting General Counsel, we speculated
With two Republican seats to be open, two Democrats sitting temporarily via recess appointment, and the GC position to be filled permanently, we might look for the White House and Senate to approach a comprehensive compromise to obtain Senate confirmation on all these positions sometime in the late Summer or early Fall.
Today's announcement may not change that overall approach, but it certainly removes the questions regarding the status of Mr. Hayes and Mr. Pearce. And in light of the recent New Process Steel decision, ensures that the Board will continue to have at least three Members sitting beyond the expiration of Mr. Schaumber's term.