Kevin Glass
President Obama could find his own National Labor Relations board, the subject of much scrutiny and criticism this past year, a little short-staffed come 2012 if he's not careful. An impending expiring appointment would render the NLRB quite ineffective.

About 200 cases, many of which would expand the power of unions, will be stalled in 2012 when an appointment expires and the five-member board loses a quorum and with it the ability to take action – unless President Barack Obama makes a controversial recess appointment sometime in the coming weeks.

Business groups have no shortage of problems with the NLRB’s recent actions, citing a complaint against Boeing with a remedy which business groups view as unprecedented, a new rule shortening the timeframe for union elections that reduces the amount of time employers have to address the issue, and a decision that could make it easier to form “micro-unions,” which allow certain sub-groups of workers to organize without the consideration of all employees in a workplace.

The board currently has three members, but will drop down to two if the Senate adjourns at the end of the year as the term of controversial Obama recess appointee Craig Becker runs out.

What makes this issue particularly thorny for President Obama is that the expiring appointment is that of Craig Becker, a lightning rod for conservative criticism and a vocal proponent of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama would likely take a serious political hit if he has to go around Congress and make another recess appointment for a labor board member like Becker.

The board currently has three members, but will drop down to two if the Senate adjourns at the end of the year as the term of controversial Obama recess appointee Craig Becker runs out.

Further, the House of Representatives has refused to sign off on allowing the Senate to go into recess, meaning that Obama has not been able to make a traditional recess appointment to the NLRB or other agencies where Republicans have declined to confirm nominees.

For a rundown of some of what Obama's NLRB "accomplished" over the last year, take a look at this vid from the Workforce Fairness Institute:


Kevin Glass

Kevin Glass is the Managing Editor of Townhall.com. Follow him on Twitter at @kevinwglass.