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February 1, 2011 The Honorable Darrell Issa Chairman Committee on Oversight and Government Reform U.S.

House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Elijah Cummings Ranking Member Committee on Oversight and Government Reform U.S. House of Representative Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings: On behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national association with 74 chapters representing more than 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms, I am writing in regard to the full committee hearing titled, Uncharted Territory: What are the Consequences of President Obama's Unprecedented 'Recess' Appointments? On Jan. 4, 2012, President Obama ignored constitutionally established separation of powers and the rules of the U.S. Senate by appointing three individuals, Sharon Block (D), Richard Griffin (D) and Terry Flynn (R), to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during a pro forma session. ABC believes the Presidents actions show a blatant disregard for the Constitution and decades of legal opinion. The Presidents actions will have immediate and long-term negative consequences for our economy and our country. If allowed to stand, the appointments will set a chilling precedent for presidential power that vastly exceeds what our Founders envisionedessentially granting the executive branch unlimited authority to appoint any person to any federal post without any meaningful review by the Senate. In practical terms, this means in many cases no congressional checks on appointments of controversial individuals to key posts and diminished public accountability for vast, unelected federal bureaucracies. The Presidents unlawful appointments to the NLRB illustrate the dangers of such unchecked executive power. For the last year, the NLRB, under the direction of controversial recess appointee Craig Becker, has issued decisions, enforcement policies and rules designed to silence any discourse in the workplace over the possible disadvantages of union representation and grant vast new influence to organized labor. The NLRBs radical positions have injected further uncertainty into our economy, hampered job growth and investment and caught the attention of the public and elected officials, with the House of Representatives passing several measures designed to address the agencys outrageous actions. Out of concern that the NLRB would continue to operate out of the mainstream, all 47 Republican Senators sent a letter on December 19, 2011 asking the President to not recess appointees and instead allow for a full and thorough review of their qualifications through regular order in the Senate. The President ignored the letter, and the Senators concerns over continued radical NLRB activity are now a reality. NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce recently told the Associated Press he plans to urge the board to approve new rules by the end of the year that would make it easier for unions to establish and win representation elections in workplaces. As Chairman Pearce attempts to hastily take advantage of a full five member board and rush to grant this and other wishes of big

labor, Americas job creators and job seekers face increased uncertainty. Not only will this radical NLRBs anti-worker and anti-business actions further damage prospects of investment and job growth, but questions about the NLRBs authority to act will invite litigation and ambiguity at a time we need it least. Thank you for your attention to this important matter, we look forward to working with you to restore balance in our workplace laws.


Corrine M. Stevens Senior Director, Legislative Affairs