Budget Cuts: NLRB Good Place to Start

Brett McMahon
With great fanfare, this week the President released his new budget proposal-to a resounding thud heard around the country. After talking a big game in recent weeks trying to outpace Republicans in a move to sound like a centrist, his proposed cuts and spending show a lack of serious concern at a time we need it most.Now there are many competing theories and approaches to how to salvage our monstrous debt and chip away at the entitlements and waste that are simply unsustainable. Some are severe and some are drawn out, but there are very few left in Washington who aren't at least feeling some pressure to trim what they can. And all of this while at the same time trying to also boost the economy and add jobs.

For any lawmaker looking to make the biggest bang for the buck, there is no better place to cut useless spending and free up businesses to grow and add jobs than by looking at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

As a business owner, the NLRB is an agency where my tax dollars are used explicitly to come back at me and hurt my business. But it isn't just me who's harmed when the NLRB loses sight of its mission; employees are the most damaged. After all, what's to keep employers employing people in a world where the rules are rigged?

The NLRB began in the wave of New Deal government explosive growth, and its mission was simple enough of seeking fair workplace practices. But since then, it has grown into essentially a branch of big labor that has assumed executive, legislative and judicial powers.

After Obama added an SEIU attorney in Craig Becker to the Board last year in a recess appointment, the overstepping and activism has unsurprisingly intensified. Recent actions have included unprecedented and disruptive efforts to change settled labor laws, including attempts to: strip the right to secret ballots in cases where an employer signs an agreement; provide union agents access to an employer‘s property, even where the union is there simply harm the business; potentially open the door to card check drives at charter schools; and even authorize the NLRB's General Counsel to sue states in which voters have attempted to protect secret ballots.

The new House leadership seems to be taking the first steps, having held a hearing last week to examine the extent of the board's activism. Whether this translates into budget cuts to reign them back into fulfilling their statutory mission remains to be seen.

When every proposed cut and trim is derided as being just a drop in the bucket, cutting the budget at the NLRB will actually make a huge splash.

Brett McMahon is a spokesman for the Free Enterprise Alliance's Halt The Assault campaign


With great fanfare, this week the President released his new budget proposal-to a resounding thud heard around the country. After talking a big game in recent weeks trying to outpace Republicans in a move to sound like a centrist, his proposed cuts and spending show a lack of serious concern at a time we need it most.

Now there are many competing theories and approaches to how to salvage our monstrous debt and chip away at the entitlements and waste that are simply unsustainable. Some are severe and some are drawn out, but there are very few left in Washington who aren't at least feeling some pressure to trim what they can. And all of this while at the same time trying to also boost the economy and add jobs.

For any lawmaker looking to make the biggest bang for the buck, there is no better place to cut useless spending and free up businesses to grow and add jobs than by looking at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

As a business owner, the NLRB is an agency where my tax dollars are used explicitly to come back at me and hurt my business. But it isn't just me who's harmed when the NLRB loses sight of its mission; employees are the most damaged. After all, what's to keep employers employing people in a world where the rules are rigged?

The NLRB began in the wave of New Deal government explosive growth, and its mission was simple enough of seeking fair workplace practices. But since then, it has grown into essentially a branch of big labor that has assumed executive, legislative and judicial powers.

After Obama added an SEIU attorney in Craig Becker to the Board last year in a recess appointment, the overstepping and activism has unsurprisingly intensified. Recent actions have included unprecedented and disruptive efforts to change settled labor laws, including attempts to: strip the right to secret ballots in cases where an employer signs an agreement; provide union agents access to an employer‘s property, even where the union is there simply harm the business; potentially open the door to card check drives at charter schools; and even authorize the NLRB's General Counsel to sue states in which voters have attempted to protect secret ballots.

The new House leadership seems to be taking the first steps, having held a hearing last week to examine the extent of the board's activism. Whether this translates into budget cuts to reign them back into fulfilling their statutory mission remains to be seen.

When every proposed cut and trim is derided as being just a drop in the bucket, cutting the budget at the NLRB will actually make a huge splash.

Brett McMahon is a spokesman for the Free Enterprise Alliance's Halt The Assault campaign