New faces in big places
In July, Senate Democrats forced through several of President Obama's controversial executive branch nominations that had been blocked for months because of Republican delaying tactics. With several key executive branch positions now filled, businesses are likely to see increased regulatory activity during the next few years.
After Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) threatened to use the so-called "nuclear option" of changing Senate rules to eliminate the ability of senators to filibuster presidential appointees, Republicans allowed several nominations to move to a Senate vote. This included the nomination of Thomas Perez for secretary of labor, who was approved in late July on a straight party-line vote.
Also part of the Senate agreement, the White House agreed to withdraw the full nominations of Sharon Block and Richard Griffin to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), two nominees Obama installed as temporary "recess" appointments in 2012. The withdrawal of the nominations was a victory for NRCA and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), which had requested they be withdrawn given the ongoing legal challenge to their recess appointments.
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