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White House to Union-Controlled NLRB: Shush now! Be quiet!

A few weeks ago, as the debate over the FY 2011 budget was being debated, we raised the question as to why the union-controlled National Labor Relations Board wanted even more money from taxpayers, even as the NLRB’s case load has plummeted over the last ten years. Then, when the GOP-led House proposed cutting the NLRB’s budget by a mere $50 million (from $283 million to $233 million), the NLRB’s pro-union Chairman Wilma Liebman and the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon responded with an alarmist statement:

Nearly all of the agency’s budget is spent on salaries and rents; there are no programs to eliminate or postpone. The only way to meet this extreme and immediate reduction would be to furlough all of the NLRB’s 1,665 employees for 55 workdays, or nearly three months, between now and the end of September. The great majority of these employees work far from Washington D.C., in 51 local offices, where every NLRB case begins. The economic impact of this cut would be felt by families and communities in 33 states.

This statement was posted on the NLRB’s website. However, within days, it was taken down so that all that was left was this:

Rather puzzling isn’t it? Why would the NLRB remove its own response to the House budget cuts?

Well, here’s the answer: Because they were told to.

According to the Huffington Post, the White House put a muzzle on the NLRB.

When House Republicans targeted the budget of the National Labor Relations Board last month, the agency shot back, warning that such cuts would force it to largely cease operations for an extended period of time, creating a backlog of thousands of cases.

It was one of the few counterattacks from the Obama administration, which was otherwise busy proposing its own cuts and endorsing the Republican call for slashing spending — and it didn’t last long. The White House demanded that the NLRB scrub the statement defending the agency from its website, an NLRB spokesperson told The Huffington Post.

[snip]

The Office of Management and Budget, an arm of the White House, reached out to the NLRB and told the agency to back off and take down the statement, according to the NLRB spokesperson.

OMB spokeswoman Meg Reilly said it is the job of the White House to comment on legislation. “Administration positions on proposed legislation are provided by the White House,” Reilly told HuffPost in a statement in response to the NLRB charge. “However, Agencies are welcome to work with members of the public, press and Congress to provide factual information about implications of proposed legislation.”

Reilly said that the White House had already made its position clear on the House Republican budget proposal. “In the case of H.R. 1, the President has stated that it is not something he would sign as it’s currently written. But we’re confident that we can work with both sides of the aisle to craft a compromise that cuts spending without undermining our economic recovery.”

The problem is, the NLRB, with its blatant pandering to union bosses and attempts to fundamentally transform the U.S. into the Unionized States of America is ‘undermining our economic recovery.’

Well, now at least we know why the NLRB scrubbed its site. So much for being an “independent” agency. Perhaps the President needs another new czar to handle the frayed relations with his agency appointments too.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

X-posted.

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