Speeches & Floor Statements

Floor Speech: Opposing Richard Griffin Jr. for NLRB general counsel

October 28, 2013 - October 28, 2013

    Tomorrow, according to the statement made by the majority leader, we will be voting on the nomination of Richard Griffin, Jr. for general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. 

            I will be voting against Mr. Griffin's nomination for general counsel because I am concerned about the direction of the NLRB as an advocate more than an umpire, and I do not believe his presence as the general counsel will improve that situation. 

            As the senior Republican on the labor committee, working with my friend, the chairman, Senator Harkin, and with others, what I hope we can do over the next several years is look for a long-term solution for the restructuring of the National Labor Relations Board -- one that will ensure that it will operate more as an umpire than as an advocate, whether the president is a Democrat or a Republican. 

            The board has become far too politicized under recent administrations.  This did not start with the Obama administration, but it has gotten worse with this administration, and it has moved more and more toward the side of union advocacy with such major shifts as ambush elections, micro-unions, and undermining state right-to-work laws. 

            Swinging back and forth on important labor policy issues does the American working man and woman no good in this time of underemployment and unemployment. 

            So, later this fall, I will join other senators in introducing legislation that will restore balance to the National Labor Relations Board -- a proposal that will retain the rights of workers and employees, but reduce the swing that occurs from administration to administration based upon who is in power.  What we should be striving for is fairness and consistency. 

            There are exceptions, of course, but as a general proposition, I believe a president should have an up-or-down vote on his nominee, so I intend to vote for cloture.  But Mr. Griffin's nomination does not do enough for me to show the promise of moving the board from advocacy toward umpire and, therefore, I do not intend to vote to confirm his nomination.  

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