President Barack Obama has selected two new candidates for the National Labor Relations Board as part of a deal in the U.S. Senate that will clear the way for votes on some of his nominees to other top posts.
Obama plans to nominate Nancy Schiffer, a former top lawyer for the AFL-CIO, and Kent Hirozawa, counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, according to two people familiar with the issue who asked not to be identified because the names haven’t been announced. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has already set hearings next week for the new nominees, indicating lawmakers expect to take quick action.
Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who helped negotiate the agreement, said today that the Senate would vote on their nominations by Aug. 1.
The broader agreement broke a deadlock over Obama’s nominees to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Labor Department.
As part of the deal agreed to by Republican and Democratic senators, the White House pulled their previous picks -- Sharon Block and Richard Griffin -- both of whom had drawn Republican objections. With Republicans blocking those nominations, Obama had installed them as recess appointments.
Their appointments were ruled invalid on Jan. 25 by a federal appeals court in Washington. The administration appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to consider the case in its 2013-2014 term.