By Edwin S. Hopson
On November 12, 2014, President Obama unexpectedly advised the U.S. Senate that he was withdrawing the nomination of Sharon Block to be a Member of the National Labor Relations Board and that he was submitting the nomination of Lauren McGarity McFerran to be on the NLRB, replacing Democrat Nancy Schiffer whose term expires December 16, 2014.
Block’s nomination had already cleared the Senate’s HELP Committee and was set to be voted on by the lame-duck Senate before it recessed next month.
This development could mean that there is insufficient time to get McFerran confirmed and, therefore, her nomination will be taken up by the new Senate after the first of the year.
McFerran is currently Deputy Staff Director to the HELP Committee.
If McFerran is not confirmed prior to the end of the lame-duck session, that means that the NLRB will be operating with two Democrat Members and two Republican Members. Thus, the chances of the NLRB advancing a “liberal” agenda including speeding up representation elections, etc., will be virtually nil.
McFerran’s background would appear to be pro-labor. However, at this time it is not possible to say whether she can be confirmed by a Republican Senate.