House Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), Representative Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), and Representative Michael Cloud (R-Texas) today wrote to the Biden-Harris Transition Team and White House Counsel’s office about President Biden’s “unprecedented removal” of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Peter Robb and Deputy General Counsel Alice Stock, who replaced Robb after his firing. The NLRB General Counsel position is a four-year Senate-confirmed position, and the holder of the job is responsible for leading the board in protecting American workers’ rights in the workplace.
“Given the timing of Mr. Robb’s and Ms. Stock’s firings, we want to understand whether they were removed for partisan political purposes, as retaliation for some action they undertook at the NRLB, or other reasons,” wrote the Republican leaders. “Mr. Robb’s removal is unprecedented. The National Labor Relations Act established an independent General Counsel in 1947. No General Counsel has been asked to resign since 1950 and Mr. Robb is first to be fired from the position. Congress constructed the General Counsel’s office to be free from political influence, ensuring it is free to investigate and prosecute potential violations of the law. By firing Mr. Robb and Ms. Stock, President Biden is setting a disturbing precedent for politicizing an office created to be independent from political pressure.”
“Firing Mr. Robb on day one of the new Administration creates needless complications and inefficiencies for the NLRB, which expected to have Mr. Robb’s leadership until the completion of his term in the fall. The subsequent firing of his deputy the following day creates even more chaos for the NLRB, as their two top lawyers have been removed without appropriate transition time. The NLRB plays a vital role in protecting American worker’s rights in the workplace. Abruptly removing the General Counsel and the Deputy General Counsel of an independent agency—tasked with investigating cases where employers or unions are harming the American worker—will cause unnecessary delays, potentially disrupt ongoing litigation, and may result in actions by the Office of the General Counsel that are ultra vires and later deemed null and void,” the Republicans continued.
The full letter to Chris Lu, Team Lead to the Department of Labor for the Biden-Harris Transition Team, is available here.
The full letter to White House Counsel to the President Dana Remus is available here.