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Senate Confirms Five to U.S. Labor Board, Averts Shutdown (Read More…)

By Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Jul 30, 2013
The Senate confirmed five nominees to the U.S. labor board, bringing to an end a stalemate that had threatened to shut down the board as soon as next month.

In separate 54-44 votes today, the Senate confirmed Democrats Nancy Schiffer, a former AFL-CIO associate general counsel, and Kent Hirozawa, chief lawyer for the board’s Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce. Nominees Phil Miscimarra and Harry Johnson, lawyers who represent management in labor disputes, were confirmed by voice vote to fill two Republican seats vacant since December. Pearce was confirmed 59-38 to a second term.

All five seats will be filled for first time since President Barack Obama took office.

The votes to fill the seats “will revitalize our commitment to protect the rights of American employers and employees,” Pearce said in a statement after the vote.

Obama agreed this month to drop the two Democrats he appointed without Senate confirmation in 2012, substituting Hirozawa and Schiffer. The swap helped end a stalemate and allowed confirmation of stalled nominees to other administration posts.

The actions of the five-member board have been in question since January, when a federal appeals court in Washington ruled Obama’s appointments to the board were unconstitutional because the Senate wasn’t in a recess. More than 100 challenges of board decisions are pending in courts citing the appeals court ruling, board spokesman Gregory King said.

IRS employee union: We don’t want Obamacare (Read More…)

BY JOEL GEHRKE | JULY 25, 2013

National Taxpayer Employee Union officials are giving members a form letter expressing concern…

IRS employees have a prominent role in Obamacare, but their union wants no part of the law.
National Treasury Employees Union officials are urging members to write their congressional representatives in opposition to receiving coverage through President Obama’s health care law.

The union leaders are providing members with a form letter to send to the congressmen that says “I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.”

The NTEU represents 150,000 federal employees overall, including most of the nearly 100,000 IRS workers.

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