WFI: Obama Administration Hypocritical On NLRB

Washington, D.C. (May 31, 2011) – The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) today released the following statement in response to the Obama Administration refusing to address meaningfully developments concerning its National Labor Relations Board, yet communicating with the regulatory agency regarding budgetary issues:
“The Obama Administration is trying to have it both ways on the National Labor Relations Board and in the process exhibiting extreme hypocrisy not lost on small business owners across the country.  First, President Obama nominates labor radicals like Lafe Solomon and Craig Becker to the regulatory agency; secondly, when Obama’s nominees do Big Labor’s bidding the White House ducks the issue by stating the agency is ‘independent’; and lastly, as the administration tries to distance itself from the NLRB, the Office of Management and Budget remains in communication with the regulatory agency over budgetary issues,” said Fred Wszolek, spokesman for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).  “President Obama may think he can dance around the actions of the NLRB and avoid responsibility for its job-killing agenda, but the American people understand his name is written all over the agency’s decisions resulting in severe hardships for job creators across the country.  The fact that the Obama Administration pretends to know little about what its radical nominees are doing at the NLRB, while at the same time sharing open lines of communication on budgetary issues is both intellectually insulting and incredibly transparent.”  
President Obama’s Office Of Management And Budget Communicates With President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board On Budget:
“The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had an independent agency take down a stinging press release aimed at the House Republicans' budget proposal, according to a newly released document.  In an e-mail obtained by The Hill under a Freedom of Information Act request, an OMB official told a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) officer she should have checked before sending out a Feb. 18 press release titled, ‘Top NLRB officials respond to House budget proposal.’  The NLRB statement slammed what was then the GOP’s proposed continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2011.  On the day the labor board’s statement was published, Michael Lazzeri, OMB's examiner for the NRLB, wrote to Shanti Ananthanayagam, the labor board’s budget officer, and asked her to take it down.  ‘In case didn’t get my vmail.  That press release needs to come down from your website.  In the future you guys have to clear that stuff with us,’ Lazzeri wrote to Ananthanayagam in the e-mail.  The press release quoted NLRB Chairwoman Wilma Liebman and Lafe Solomon, the board’s acting general counsel, as saying the funding cuts would lead to agency delays and ‘would occur at a great cost to working people and responsible employers trying to survive in this difficult economic climate, and would have the potential to destabilize relations between labor and business.’  They also said the proposed budget cuts would reduce the agency’s annual funding by 18 percent, or $50 million, which could lead to furloughs for all of the labor board’s 1,665 employees for 55 workdays.  The press release was subsequently taken down.  In its place on the labor board’s website is a bland statement that says, ‘The content in this statement has been removed.  For further information on this subject, please see the President’s Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) regarding the budget, which can be found on the OMB website.’  OMB asking the labor board to take down the press release was first reported by The Huffington Post.  Asked why the press release was taken down, a spokeswoman for the labor board referred questions to OMB.  ‘In accordance with longstanding clearance procedures in Circular A-11, agencies are asked to clear such comments through OMB.  In this case, the language on budget-related legislation had not been cleared, so it was taken down,’ said Meg Reilly, an OMB spokeswoman.  Circular A-11 is a memo sent by OMB to federal agencies regarding the president’s budget proposal.  The memo states that communications to Congress or the media about the president’s budget proposal need to receive clearance from OMB before being sent out, including ‘proposed press releases relating to the president’s budget.’” (Kevin Bogardus, “Obama Official Ordered Labor Board To Pull Rebuke Of GOP Budget,” The Hill, 5/29/11)
White House Refuses To Address Job-Killing Actions By Its National Labor Relations Board:

“White House Press Secretary Jay Carney deflected a question on National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) actions against the Boeing Company in South Carolina on Wednesday, and the state’s Republican Gov. Nikki Haley isn’t pleased.  ‘Well, it’s obviously been in the news, so we are aware of it, but I would refer any questions about it to the NLRB because it is an independent agency, and we do not get involved in particular enforcement matters of independent agencies,’ Carney said.  ‘I don’t have a reaction to this from the President.  And I think the fact that he’s weighed in on outside issues doesn’t mean that he will weigh in on an independent agency’s enforcement action.’” (Matthew Boyle, “Carney Ducks NLRB Question With ‘Independent Agency’ Defense, Gov. Nikki Haley Not Pleased,” The Daily Caller, 5/11/11)