Slideshow: The Senate’s Broken Confirmation Process

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Lafe Solomon, the acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, testifies during a U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on an NLRB complaint against Boeing Co. in June, 2011. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)

National Labor Relations Board

The institution charged with conducting union elections and investigating charges of unfair labor practices has been a particular target for filibustering Senate Republicans. President Obama named two of the three current board members as recess appointments (with terms of only two years, instead of five) in January 2012. Obama’s decision to keep the board staffed insured that it could function. The board is not allowed to make decisions if three or more of its five seats are vacant.

Opponents of labor, such as the National Right to Work Committee, have also waged campaigns through sympathetic senators to continually block Obama’s attempts to nominate a general counsel — an attorney who works independently from the board to investigate and prosecute unfair labor practices. Lafe Solomon, Obama’s pick to serve as general counsel, has served permanently as acting general counsel, a role designed to be impermanent, since 2010.

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