Forty-four senators including Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today introduced a Resolution of Disapproval (S.J. Res 36) challenging the National Labor Relations Board’s new rules expediting union representation elections. Passage of the Resolution, submitted under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), would allow Congress to stop implementation of the rule.

The Resolution reads, simply:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board relating to representation election procedures (published at 76 Fed. Reg. 80138 (December 22, 2011)), and such rule shall have no force or effect. 

Senator Enzi had promised to file this Resolution following the Board’s December announcement of the Final Rule.  Today, he said:

“This rule will make a fair system less fair for one side, and is being rushed into effect over tremendous objections. This is why I am joining with my fellow senators to stop this rule from going into effect and ambushing the small business job creators we need for our economic recovery.”

Expect a similar Resolution to be introduced in the House, where if put to a vote, it should pass with the Republican majority handily.  More interestingly, a CRA resolution of disapproval cannot be filibustered.  As it needs only a simple majority in the Senate to pass if acted upon during a 60-day window, it may come within a few votes — as the current 53-47 breakdown between the caucuses.  This may be expected to put some pressure on moderate Democrats facing re-election this year in more conservative districts.  In any event, the Resolution would still be subject to certain veto by the President. 

Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Board have also recently filed dueling summary judgment motions in the Chamber’s litigation to reverse the rule.