|Senate Confirms NLRB Nominees|
|Arlette Saenz||Jul 30, 2013, 8:18 PM|
WASHINGTON - The Senate today confirmed all five nominees for the National Labor Relations Board: three Democrats and two Republicans.
Kent Hirozowa, Nancy Jean Schiffer and Mark Gaston Pearce, all Democrats, were each confirmed for seats on the NLRB, an agency that deals with labor issues. The two Republican-backed nominees, Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III, were also confirmed with a voice vote
"Once confirmed, the NLRB will have five Senate-confirmed nominees for the first time in a decade. They are eminently qualified," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor before the votes.
"A fully confirmed, fully functional board will be a huge step forward for workers, employees in our country and this will be the first time in over a decade that this has happened," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said.
Earlier this month, Democrats agreed to drop two of their NLRB nominees and appoint new nominees as part of a deal to avert Reid's use of the "nuclear option" to change Senate filibuster rules.
The confirmations are the latest in a series of votes the Senate plans on holding as it looks to wrap up business before heading into a month-long recess at the end of the week. On Monday, the Senate approved James Comey as director of the FBI with a vote of 93-1. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who previously placed a hold on Comey's nomination, was the lone senator to vote against Comey's confirmation.
Reid filed cloture Monday on the nominations of Samantha Powers to be ambassador to the United Nations and Byron Todd Jones to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, setting up potential confirmation votes for later this week.
The ATF has been without a permanent director since 2006 when the Senate was given the power to confirm the agency's leader. Jones, who was nominated by President Obama in January following the deadly massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has served as the acting ATF director since 2011 while continuing his work as a U.S. attorney in Minnesota.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Jones' nomination to the full Senate strictly along party lines with a vote of 10-8 earlier this month.