Last night the Senate reached an agreement to avoid the “nuclear option” that prevented the end of the filibuster in blocking Presidential appointments. So what’s the deal, and what’s it all about?
CNS News reminds us:
But, before you cluck-cluck at the Republicans, it is well to remember that way back in 2005, when they were in the minority, Senate Democrats did exactly the same thing, which led then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) to contemplate the exact same “nuclear option” that Senator Reid was threatening earlier this week.
But there’s more. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Big Labor desperately wants a quorum of at least three National Labor Relations Board nominees to keep issuing pro-union orders that have become the NLRB’s standard operating procedure in the Obama years. Today there are only three board members and Chairman Mark Pearce is set to resign on August 27.
Under Tuesday’s Senate deal, the Obama Administration will agree to withdraw the nominations of the two NLRB board members whom Mr. Obama first appointed in January 2012 as recess appointments though the Senate wasn’t in recess. The President will then nominate two new pro-union board members, whom Republicans won’t filibuster, as well as two GOP nominees. Mr. Trumka gets his new legal quorum.
So why are the unions so concerned? This chart from Google might explain something:
Loss of members means loss of prestige, but there’s more. In June 2010, I reported on the status of union pension funds (rightwinggranny.com):
In a column in the Washington Examiner in April, Mark Hemingway pointed out that the average union pension plan had only enough money to cover 62 percent of its financial obligations. Pension plans that are below 80 percent funding are considered “endangered” by the government; below 65 percent is considered “critical.” Union membership is declining, which means that less people are paying into these funds.
Unions have a rightful place in America. However, in recent years they have attempted to usurp power beyond what was their original purpose. Meanwhile, union leaders live like kings and workers pay mandatory dues and struggle to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the unions see the Obama Administration as an opportunity to increase their power and influence (and the wealth of their leaders). Hopefully the next election will restore a balance between unions and those who choose not to join them. Meanwhile, the Republicans are making some really bad decisions.