February 9th, 2010
11:13 AM ET
5 years ago

Nelson joins GOP in opposition to Obama nominee

Sen. Ben Nelson will oppose President Obama's nominee for the National Labor Relations Board
Sen. Ben Nelson will oppose President Obama's nominee for the National Labor Relations Board

(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson joined Republican lawmakers in opposing President Obama's controversial nominee for the National Labor Relations Board.

Nelson said Monday he would vote against seating union lawyer Craig Becker on the five-member board because "he would pursue a personal agenda."

"This is of great concern, considering that the Board's main responsibility is to resolve labor disputes with an even and impartial hand. In addition, the nominee's statements fly in the face of Nebraska's Right to Work laws, which have been credited in part with our excellent business climate that has attracted employers and many good jobs to Nebraska," the Nebraska senator said in a statement.

Becker has served as an associate general counsel to the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO. Republicans have stalled his nomination because of his union ties and concerns that he would sidestep Congress and make pro-union changes to the law.

In a statement before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee last week, Becker said "should I be confirmed, I will always remain faithful to the will of Congress."

He also said he has represented "not simply unions but also individual employees, belonging to no labor organization, in diverse trades and professions - from prison guards to retail clerks, from hospital administrators to home-care workers."

"Should I be confirmed, I will draw on in collaborating with my fellow board members to fairly, efficiently and faithfully apply the law," he said.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on cloture motion to end debate on the Becker nomination at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The vote was supposed to take place Monday but it was delayed due to the weather.

Obama said Tuesday that he is prepared to make several recess appointments during the upcoming congressional break if Congress fails to hold a vote on a number of stalled nominations.

Prior to Nelson's announcement, it appeared as if Republican Sen. Scott Brown could have cast his first decisive vote, now that the Democrats no longer have a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate. Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley last month in Massachusetts' special election to fill the late Edward Kennedy's Senate seat.


Filed under: AFL-CIO • Ben Nelson
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Moderate

    What's he going to ask for this time for his vote?

    February 9, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Debbie

    Pretty much done with white males from the South and the MidWest. They live in the dark ages, are greedy, and can't move forward no matter what. Just done with them.

    February 9, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. gary

    Nelson IS a true Democrat. You libtards smashing him are socialists and marxists. That's why you boy obama is in trouble; he's trying to govern from the far left and the American people want no part of it.

    February 9, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Chris D.

    Ben Nelson will be voted out regardless of him trying to kiss GOP butt........
    The demonization of unions are pathetic......as unions represent average people......my grandmother is a retired union member. I know young people in unions none of them make more than 50k per year.

    February 9, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Tommy Young

    Go ahead and kick Nelson and Lieberman out of the Democratic Party. After the Republicans win the Senate seats in Arkansas, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, North Dakota, and Nevada, the Dems will lose their majority.

    February 9, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Dave L

    Just when I think Nelson can't be less of a politician or a statesman, he proves me wrong.

    This nitwit from a "right to work for less" state, where corporations rule and working people struggle, thinks that a pro-labor person serving on the National Labor Relations Board would be wrong.

    Maybe he should follow through and introduce a bill to re-name it the National Corporations Rule Board.

    I doubt very much if this pathetic pandering by Nelson will save his seat. And Good Riddance!!

    February 9, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Anthony

    Another fake dem

    February 9, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. gary

    obozo's approval rating – 44% and dropping. lol

    February 9, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Bill in Florida

    I'm just curious. For all of Nelson's reaching out to the right, how many right-wing Nebraskans will vote for him?

    February 9, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. j

    Really he should just switch parties. He's not a Democrat.

    There's nothing wrong with being pro-union. After all, unions support the average worker, not the big corporation. You'd think more of the middle-class and working poor would be for unions since unions advocate for the worker. Working conditions used to be horrendous in many instances before workers started organizing. I'm not saying I'm pro-union but I do believe there are circumstances where a union helps.

    February 9, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. DAW, NC

    how scary someone who represents the working man's rights on the board. Lets put someone who represents business instead, looking at the recent history of decisions that seems to be what is already occurring.

    February 9, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. NancyLV

    They are ALL corrupt so quit just saying it is just a title for the GOP even though they are too just admit it Dems your party is corrupt too.

    February 9, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. rs

    Just more Republicans doin' the "Nope-a-Dope". Vote 'em out in Novemebr.

    February 9, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Illinoistom

    Why is everyone picking on the poor old unions? Just look at what they've done for Detroit.... well, maybe that's a bad example. Look what they did for the steel industry.... oh wait, that's a bad example too. Look what they did for the garment industry....

    February 9, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Objective Thinking

    A Union lawyer on a board that is supposed to be impartial on labor affairs? How can anyone argue that this isn't a conflict of interest?

    February 9, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. AEK

    Oh my, Ben! Again with the Repuglicans? The folks in the second district of Nebraska (which voted for the Democratic President and added an electoral vote for the first time in a gagillion years) are a comin' for ya! Better plan on doing LOTS of campaigning in the sticks in 2012!

    February 9, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Marie. Omaha, NE

    I can't wait to vote Nelson out!!

    February 9, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. ObamasRecordDefict

    Boycott UNION products as much as possible.

    Unions are destroying the US

    February 9, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Frozone

    As long as we're stuck with a do-nothing Congress, America will not be able to compete. President Obama needs to start leading. The GOP and these phony Dems need to come up with sollutions or get out of the way.

    February 9, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. ChicagoDB

    I am against anything that walk on water proposes. – You are an idiot.

    February 9, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. kk

    The Democratic party is for the working man not the big corporations or those who are against the common working man. Nelson should go and join the Republicans because he is nothing but a DINO (Democrat in Name Only. Our country needs to pull together without the likes of this Senator.

    February 9, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. GREGOIRE

    Oh the liberal purists are out in force today!!! Listen to you trolls... the collective intellect couldn't outwit a barn door!

    February 9, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Another day......... ANOTHER DAY OF HATEFUL COMMENTS FROM THE CONS. Pathetic.

    February 9, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. mat6105

    Felicia Why do you call teabaggers racist ? Just becuase they opose the agenda that our president is pushing down our throats. I voted for the guy because I could not vote for mcsame and dingbat. He has made alot of promises... transparency...no more pork...no more buisness as usual etc.I wish i could take my vote back ( I will in the next election) You call teabaggers racist but what about all the people that voted for obama (cant bring myself to capitolize his name) that did so only because he is black , with no regard for the issues or problems our country faces. Isn't that also racism ? Please take the race card out of play !!!!! You have beaten it into the ground.

    February 9, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. New Age Independent

    Nelson is in trouble and he'll do anything to try and save his job. However he's a liar an idiot and has burned his bridges in Nebraska.

    February 9, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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