Back in September, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sponsored the NLRB Reform Act with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). The bill has not seen the light of day under the Democrat-controlled Senate HELP Committee, but after the Republican midterm victories in 2014, it might. The purpose of the bill, according to Sen. McConnell, is to "restore the NLRB to its proper role as an umpire, instead of an advocate of the Right or the Left." If enacted, the bill would expand the Board to six members (from the current five) with synchronized terms so that all Board actions are bipartisan. The bill would also give respondents (employers) the right to seek review of any NLRB complaint in federal court and allow certain discovery rights to memoranda and files of the NLRB General Counsel. In some circumstances, Board decisions would have to be issued within one year, and respondents could appeal in federal court if the Board failed to act within that time frame. Finally, the bill would place 20 percent of Board funding at risk if it did not decide at least 90 percent of its cases within one year during the first two years after enactment of the reforms.
Despite the GOP majority in 2015 and optimistic prospects for passage, enactment is unlikely. It's doubtful that the Republicans would have enough votes to override an almost certain veto by President Obama.