The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted 219-209 to halt the work of the National Labor Relations Board until the Supreme Court rules on whether President Obama has the authority to make recess appointments to the Board when the Senate is not in recess. The House passed this legislation, H.R. 1120, in reaction to a decision issued in January by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in which the court held that the Board lacked a sufficient quorum of members because President Obama had appointed three of the NLRB’s five members as “recess appointments” while the Senate was not in recess.
H.R. 1120 would not prevent the regional offices from reviewing unfair labor practice charges or addressing representation issues, but it would prohibit the Board from engaging in any activity that requires a quorum of Board members, e.g., acting on or enforcing a decision. If passed into law, H.R. 1120 would remain in effect unless and until the Board has a quorum of Board members or the Supreme Court has issued a decision on the constitutionality of the Board appointments. President Obama, however, has stated that he intends to veto H.R. 1120 should it reach his desk.