February 9th, 2010
11:13 AM ET
4 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. Annie, Atlanta

    Anyone else out there sick of seeing these old white guys in Congress throwing temper tantrums for personal gain, while holding up the business of this country, or not? They need to go. We need some fresh blood that has yet to be corrupted.

    Speaking of old white guys, and just as an aside, you know what one of my senators told me by e-mail when I asked him to please work on solutions for HCR instead of just saying no? He said he had to protect the profits of the insurance companies! I kid you not. These creeps need to go. They've gotten a little too comfy for our own good.

    February 9, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Dex, Houston TX

    Wake up America, there are just as many Democrats as there are Republicans who would love to see President Obama fail. These people offer no solutions only obstructions.....

    President Obama said on the campaign trail that Congress should not be where "good ideas" go to die, but when you are surrounded by bigoted old men with a lack of vision for the future what can we expect....

    February 9, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. jjj

    I really didn't need another reason to not vote for him again.....be he's the gift that keeps on giving

    February 9, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Wisconsonite

    Ben Nelson is nothing but a corporate shill. Talk about pursuing "a personal agenda." Nelson pusues his agenda of lining his own pockets every time he casts a vote in the US Senate!

    February 9, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. UnionsSuck

    Putting an SEIU attorney on this Labor Relations Board is change we can believe in? At least one Dem has pulled his head out of Obama's ass long enough to smell the rose's. Lets hope this trend continues.

    February 9, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    The heandwriting is on the wall, and some dems are getting the message of Massachusetts. Mainstream America does not want anything to do with ultra-radical left wingers ANYWHERE in our government. SEIU is a criminal enterprise, and this nominee is just the tip of the iceberg. SOME dems are actually listening to America.

    February 9, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    @RAY IN NJ February 9th, 2010 12:25 pm ET

    Why doesn't this guy just switch parties and stop pretending to be a Democrat?! After all he certainly has the standard GOP haircut...
    _________________
    What is the standard GOP haircut, moron? My hair is probably longer than yours...... can you left wing idiots think of anything other than name-calling when you are wrong????????

    February 9, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Jim

    Why is this news? Because Nelson voted along his real party line?

    February 9, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Isitoveryet?

    Remember the promise- "no lobbyist or special interest groups". Remember that's what our community organizer in chief PROMISED!!!

    February 9, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. jenn, philadelphia

    Becker has also been quoted as stating that companies and/or employers have no right to be at the NLRB hearings and should have no right to appeal. That doesn't sound very unbiased. This appointment is as much of a joke as almost all of the President's appointments. A tax cheat to head the treasury, a man cited for abuse of authority to head the TSA, numerous tax cheats to head HHS. Of course, this is just an obvious payback to the unions who got him elected.

    February 9, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Enough is Enough

    You cannot be progrowth and prounion. Unions destroy jobs and companies like at GM and Chysler. Obama the liar cares more about union support than what is best for the taxpayer.

    February 9, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Becker

    I dont' know Becker, and I'll bet you don't either.

    February 9, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. RTB

    Wake up!

    Nelson is a typical republican in democrat clothing.

    Isn't it time for the Democratic Party to strip him of his credentials and find a real democrat to run against him.

    The good people of Nebraska deserve better.
    The working people of this great country deserve better.

    February 9, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. jose

    Everyone who is anti-union, keeping pushing the GOP agenda and we could just eliminate the middle class. Ben Nelson get lost

    February 9, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. don

    That ....jerk will never be re-elected in office no matter what he says or does These Deamon trap Put on the shoes to help and when it starts burning take them off and run away...... we will do the same to all Repubic- can..... and demi -rats.

    February 9, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Tom C

    Geee!! a lot of anti-union on these comments. I try to understand you people, but just cannot. I was union all through my life. Through collective bargaining I was able to make a decent wage and was provide with cost of living raises. My employer would have never paid me a decent wage without that process. Sure, unions are not perfect and they have some scumbags, but every organization does. Weakening the unions only hurt the country. Now anyone will work for lower pay and safety issues are at an all time concern. Instead of trying to raise your wages to a higher standard, the common thought is, "Let's get their wages lowered so they can be miserable too"

    February 9, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. LYNETTE IN CA

    As a Democrat he sucks! Is he up for re-election? Vote him out and put someone in there that is really a Democrat not a Democrat in Republican clothing!

    February 9, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. dave

    Message to Nelson you can become 42.

    February 9, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. tom

    With Democrats like Ben Nelson, who needs Republicans?

    February 9, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. TrueIndependent

    DINO: Democrat in Name Only
    RIDC: Republican in Democrat's Clothing

    1. Ben Nelson
    2. Mary Landreau

    DINC: Democrat in No Clothing
    1. Joe Lieberman

    FBNL: Female But No Lady
    1. Olimpia Snow
    2. Susan Collins

    It does not matter what party they are in, some of these people are just determined to make this President fail, even if it took the whole country down in the process.
    We don't care what your political affiliation is If you don't like the president's ideas, give him yours and work together to save our country from the ruins George Bush left it. There is only one place to take our country back from, and that is China.

    God Bless America

    February 9, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Barbara,TX

    Ben Nelson need ot reitre..This President is trying to move things forward for the better of all Americans. It is amazing how even his own party is against things to be done right. ..This president need committment form the Dems and he is just NOT getting the support he need to move things ahead.. We need to vote the corruption out of Washington,and put Dems in office to help President Obama complete his mission on Jobs and Health care for ALL..If the repulbilc so against the bill for HEALTHCARE why don't healhcare come up when they have the power.? Becaue the Rep are there to make the rich richer..People please wake up to this game being played.

    February 9, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Grim Peaepr

    It's truly depressing how many Marxists there are in this country who truly WANT the government to free us of the burden of thinking and choosing. I hope the Utopia you seek is everything you think it will be.

    February 9, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    When will you folks open your eyes and recognize that there is no difference in the two major parties. These two parties the Democrats and the Republicans have a monopoly on our government. I’m sure both sides will love bashing each other over these petty issues in order to distract you from their true self of representing a Plutocracy. But the truth is there is no difference if you vote Democrat or Republican Liberal or Conservative. We will get the same we have always received from big brother, the people who can attract the billions required to be elected are not getting that money from the people. Both of these parties are bought and paid for by the Special interest groups, PACs, Unions, Wall Street, banking, global Corporations are all contributing billions to re-election funds that undermine the people's representation
    I say in 2010 ask who is funding your representative? Look to see where the money is coming from? If the money comes from outside your voter district then who do you think they will represent if they are elected or re-elected? We need to bring these professional politicians back into line.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    February 9, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. WoW

    Smokey,

    You should be banned from having an conversation about politics. Just because people disagree with President Obama does not mean they are racist. There's no reason to cry racism for that.

    February 9, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Grim Reaper

    It's truly depressing how many people in this country actually WANT the government to free us of the burdens of thinking and choosing. It's even more depressing that this desired subjugation of self and others masquerades as "compassion." I hope the Utopia is everything you are seeking; Lord knows (reprehensible as He is) you'll never stop until we "get there."

    February 9, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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