October 21st, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today thanked Senator John McCain for putting a legislative hold on Barack Obama’s nominee for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Craig Becker.
In a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Senator Tom Harkin, McCain wrote, “While it is the President’s prerogative to nominate who he wishes, it is our duty in the U.S. Senate to review all of the Administration’s nominees. I have concerns regarding Mr. Becker’s written views, which indicate that he would prevent employers from having a role in union representation elections in their workplaces by doing away with requiring fair, secret ballot union elections when requested by an employer and I would like the opportunity to question Mr. Becker about these positions in person and in public.”
The letter continues, “For these reasons, I call on you to schedule a hearing on Mr. Becker’s nomination before you proceed to full committee consideration of his nomination to the NLRB.”
Today, in an executive session of the committee, McCain demanded a hearing on Craig Becker and a roll call vote. A roll call vote was then taken with McCain voting against Becker, although he did not prevail.
McCain has a legislative hold on the Becker nomination now, meaning it will take 60 votes to invoke cloture on the nomination before it can proceed to an up-or-down vote. Top Capitol Hill sources indicate it will be a “tough” vote.
“If Craig Becker had his way, when a union is organized, there would not be any secret ballot for workers. There would just be union thugs going from worker to worker, ‘encouraging’ them to support unionization,” said Wilson.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do so by regulatory fiat, without a vote in Congress.”
Under current law, unions have to provide for a secret ballot when they are organized. Unions have lobbied the Obama administration and Congress for a “card check” system that would allow unions to be organized without any ballot.
According to the Journal, Becker was also responsible for drafting several pro-union executive orders while serving simultaneously on the Barack Obama’s presidential transition team and on the SEIU payroll. In testimony, Becker said, “I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.”
“Senator McCain deserves the thanks of the American people for demanding a public hearing on Craig Becker’s views, which put him far outside the mainstream,” Wilson concluded.
Senator McCain’s Letter to Senator Tom Harkin, October 20th, 2009.
ALG Letter to Senator Tom Harkin RE: NLRB Nominees, October 20th, 2009.
ALG Nominee Alert, Craig Becker, August 2009.
Interview Availability: Please contact Alex Rosenwald at (703)383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.