On January 26, 2011, President Obama nominated former union attorney Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board for the third time since July 2009. Becker failed to win confirmation for either of his previous nominations but received a recess appointment to the Board from President Obama in March 2010. The President's decision to nominate Becker again reaffirms the Obama administration's continued support of organized labor.
Before his recess appointment, which expires at the end of the Senate's 2011 session, Becker served as associate general counsel for the Service International Union for almost 20 years and staff counsel for the AFL-CIO for six years. Becker, who remains a highly controversial nominee, has drawn sharp criticism from pro-management groups for his radical, anti-employer views, including his position that employers have no "cognizable" interest in the outcome of union elections and should have very little rights during union organizing drives.
While occupying 47 seats, Senate Republicans are poised to keep Becker from securing the 60 votes needed to proceed to a final vote. However, if his nomination is confirmed, Becker would serve the remainder of a five-year term that runs through December 16, 2014.