As part of a deal to avert a “nuclear option” to end filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate, the nominations of Richard Griffin and Sharon Block to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were withdrawn. Griffin and Block were two of the members illegally recess appointed to the board by President Obama in 2012. They were renominated by the president in February. 

The nominations were withdrawn July 16 as part of a deal to avert Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s  (D –Nev.) plan – known as the “nuclear option” – to make radical changes to the long-standing rules of the Senate by lowering the number of votes needed to move forward on most legislation or nominations from 60 to 51. Activation of the nuclear option would have allowed Reid to place controversial nominees on the NLRB, including Block and Griffin, even though several courts already have ruled that their prior appointments were unconstitutional. 

The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), which has opposed Block’s and Griffin’s nominations, launched an aggressive lobbying and six-figure “Don’t Nuke The Senate” media campaign. As a result of the campaign and a grassroots effort that resulted in thousands of letters being sent to key Senate offices, the CDW celebrated a victory when the nuclear option was averted and the nominations were withdrawn.

“We’re pleased with an outcome that preserves the integrity of the Senate’s role in nominations and the important institutional processes of the Senate,” said CDW President and ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr. “Today’s agreement is a tacit admission that the President’s nominations of two illegally recess appointed individuals led to unnecessary tension. Thankfully, the nominees that accepted the illegal recess appointments will be withdrawn and the process of filling the NLRB can begin in good faith and in earnest.”

 The president now will nominate two other names to the NLRB and confirmation hearings are scheduled for next week. CDW remains concerned that when the new nominees are confirmed they will continue to push detrimental policies and initiatives, including a possible second attempt at the “ambush elections” rule. 

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of Block’s and Griffin’s recess appointments this fall. 

For more information on the nuclear option and the NLRB nomination withdrawals, read The Daily Caller’s, “Pro-business groups declare victory in filibuster fight.