On January 5, 2011, President Obama nominated Democrat Lafe Solomon to be General Counsel of the NLRB and Republican Terence F. Flynn to be a Member of the Board.
Mr. Solomon, a career attorney at the Board, was named Acting General Counsel by the president on June 21, 2010, after the resignation of Ronald Meisburg. Mr. Flynn is currently Chief Counsel to Member Hayes and was previously Chief Counsel to Member Schaumber. Prior to service with the NLRB, Mr. Flynn represented management in private practice.
The timing of the nominations may have surprised some, but, as we reported in the first edition of NLRB Insight, Mr. Solomon was named Acting General Counsel under the Vacancies Reform Act. Under that Act, an individual cannot serve in an acting capacity for more than 210 days unless the president has sent a nomination for the position to the Senate. Consequently, Mr. Solomon could not have continued to serve as Acting General Counsel beyond mid-January had the President not submitted a nomination to the Senate.
It is not expected that the Senate will move to confirm either or both of these individuals in the near future.
It should also be noted that, on January 26, 2011, the President has re-nominated Craig Becker to be a Member of the Board. Becker is currently serving a recess appointment scheduled to expire when Congress adjourns at the end of the year. Soon after the nomination was announced, Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Enzi (R-WY) and Ranking Senate Finance Committee Member Hatch (R-UT), joined by all Senate Republicans, wrote a letter to President Obama requesting that Mr. Becker’s nomination be withdrawn.