Bloomberg News

Obama Sends Three Nominations for Labor Board to U.S. Senate

February 17, 2012

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama sent to the Senate the nominations of three candidates he appointed last month to the National Labor Relations Board amid a standoff with Senate Republicans.

The nominations of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin, originally announced in December, were at the center of a struggle between Obama and Senate Republicans, who accused the president of exceeding his authority in using his recess appointment power to seat them on the board. Sending the nominations to the Senate is a procedural move.

The board started this year with two members, too few to make decisions or issue rulings. The NLRB has been a Republican target since it sued aerospace giant Boeing Co. in April for opening a plant in the union-unfriendly state of South Carolina. That case was settled in December.

Block, 46, is the Labor Department’s deputy assistant secretary for congressional affairs. From 2006 to 2009, she was senior counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Griffin, 55, is general counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers and was on the board of the Lawyers Coordinating Committee at the AFL-CIO since 1994. Flynn is currently chief counsel to the one Republican member of the labor board.

--With assistance from Holly Rosenkrantz in Washington. Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Jim Rubin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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