Craig Becker, a controversial union lawyer whose appointment to the National Labor Relations Board had been blocked by Senate Republicans, was among 15 recess appointments announced Saturday by the White House.
Becker and another Democratic nominee, Mark Pearce, were appointed by President Obama to serve on the NLRB through 2011, but Brian Hayes, a Republican originally nominated with them as part of a package last year was not included. The five-person board has limped along with only two members for over two years.
Obama’s first batch of recess appointments — nominees the White House says have been pending in the Senate for an average of seventh months — also include three appointees to the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jeffrey Goldstein to be the Treasury Department’s under secretary for domestic finance, Rafael Borras to be undersecretary for management at the Department of Homeland Security and Alan D. Bersin to head the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees,” Obama said in a statement. “But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”