Things in Washington seem to be changing by the hour!
Ever since Scott Brown won the Massachusetts special election last month, Harry Reid and his Democrat cohorts have been gaming the system, trying to rush through Big Labor's President Obama's controversial nominations like Patricia Smith (as the Department of Labor's solicitor) and Craig Becker before Brown could be seated.
Now, Scott plans to try and stop Reid in his tracks, saying he wants to be sworn in immediately, not next week and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick appears ready to certify Brown as early as tomorrow at 9:30 am.
Patrick is planning to certify the results at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, said governor's spokesman Kyle Sullivan. "This will ensure that Senator-elect Brown’s request to receive the final paperwork by 11 a.m. tomorrow is fulfilled," Sullivan said in a statement.
Votes on a major jobs bill could also come next week.
Vice President Joe Biden would have to administer the oath of office, and top Senate Democrats appeared ready this afternoon to move on Brown's request.
“Once he gets the certificate in hand, he can be sworn in,” said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate majority leader Harry Reid. “We are working to swear him in as quickly as possible, which would be as early as tomorrow afternoon.”
There are several votes coming up within the next week that are expected to be controversial, including nominees for solicitor of labor and the US General Services Administration. A vote could come next week on whether to confirm Craig Becker, a Chicago-based union attorney who was nominated by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board.
If Scott Brown is seated tomorrow, it is not a moment too soon.
Needless to say, however, union bosses are really, really mad.
The labor community is fuming over the expedited plan to seat Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass) this Thursday afternoon, arguing that Democratic leadership is torpedoing one of its most important causes -- the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.
"Democrats were outmaneuvered yet again," emailed a labor source who was granted anonymity to speak freely. "I'm used to us caving, but they didn't even [try to delay Brown's seating]. They just hit the mat.
"I love how we cave to the Republicans and won't seat our Senator, [Al] Franken. Then we reverse cave and seat their senator. I mean forget the analogy of one is playing checkers and the other playing chess. It's like one is playing chess while the other is sitting there picking their nose."
As the NAM's blog Shopfloor notes:
Caterwauling, too. There’s caterwauling.
Organized labor has elevated the importance of Becker’s nomination, logically viewing him as their man on the NLRB. This afternoon, in an e-mail to Senate staff, the SEIU declared, “This is the highest priority for organized labor…”
We note this background paragraph in Stein’s story:
An associate general counsel for the Service Employees International Union since 1990 and previously counsel for the AFL-CIO, Becker was targeted immediately by GOP lawmakers for being too sympathetic to labor for a post at the NLRB. The White House urged unions not to launch a public campaign around his appointment, arguing that it would pass Congress via an “inside game,” a source working on the process told the Huffington Post.
Was he targeted immediately? We don’t recall that. But if so, perhaps it’s because Becker wrote one of the Obama’s Administration’s first executive orders to slant federal regs toward organized labor.
Purple heads must be spinning and pea soup flying over at the SEIU right now.
* pun intended
** Emphasis added throughout post
"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." Thomas Paine December 23, 1776
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