The Unconstitutional Consumer Czar
Even though the Senate was in session and blocked Obama’s nomination of labor-friendly politicians, Democrats Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, and Republican Terry Flynn, the president declared “a recess” and appointed the three to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in addition to appointing Richard Corday to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The appointments effectually put the Big Labor Bosses at the helm of the NLRB. Obama owes them for his 2008 and some labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO, whose president, Richard Trumka, is making noises about going “independent” (they’d support some other Liberal Democrat who will jump through their hoops).
The hoops Big Labor wants to see Obama jump through involve states like Indiana, which is planning to bring right-to-work legislation to a vote in the state legislature, possibly this week. Big Labor are withholding their endorsement of Obama, may be looking to see if the president can pass the right-to-work test. Indiana is a key battleground state. Will Obama make any public statement about the legislation? Will he look for the union label?
Late last month, when House Republicans proposed a federal pay freeze as part of a temporary deal to extend the payroll tax cuts, Democratic Senators strongly objected. The White House public silence on this issue, its lack of objection, was deafening to the Democrats and the Big Labor Cronies.
Constitutional battles are ill-advised in an election year, and sitting presidents try to avoid engaging in them. But Obama thinks he’s Don Quixote and the Constitution is the windmill at which he’s tilting. He’s gone on record as saying he would throw out the Constitution, a subject he taught as a law professor at the University of Chicago.
The appointments will give Big Labor all the cards in labor dispute; management won’t stand a chance, further damaging our nation’s manufacturing capabilities and our economy. They’ll undoubtedly be challenged in court since they broke with legal precedent, according to The Hill, as they were made while the Senate was holding regular pro forma sessions. White House attorneys determined that the Senate’s brief sessions, held every few days, were a gimmick the president could ignore.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) blasted the move as an “unprecedented power grab” and said he expects “the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate.”
The gambit puts the bureau in “uncertain legal territory,” according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Without the appointments, the federal agency, which mediate labor disputes and oversees union elections, wouldn’t have had a quorum to issue rulings. With the recess appointments, the board will be able to influence the votes in the Indiana legislature on right-to-work laws.
President Obama also defied the Senate’s rejection of Dodd-Frank czar Richard Cordray, whom he nominated last summer, and recess-appointed Cordray. Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of any candidate for the job of Consumer Czar until key reforms are made to the law and its enforcement arm, the CFPB. According to Michelle Malkin, “changes include subjecting the CFPB to the Congressional appropriations process instead of the Federal Reserve; restoring independent judicial review; ensuring that it takes into account the impact of new rules on the safety and soundness of financial institutions; and creating a bipartisan oversight board instead of a single director to run the agency.”
The problem with a single director is that the minute they’re sworn in, the agency will transfer to the Fed for administrative purposes, and as a result, be given bureaucratic carte blanche. The Fed’s authority of the CFPB is a chimera; thanks to Dodd-Frank, the job is election-proof – the czar has a protected tenure of five years.
Malkin notes that while Cordray masquerades as a consumer watchdog who’ll tilt at Wall Street windmills, Ohio voters booted him out of the state Attorney General’s office in the 2011 elections and he’s buddies with securities class-action lawyers. She cites a Forbes Magazine article as reporting that Cordray has a history of “taking money from lawyers who profit from private litigation that often follows closely on the heels of government investigations.” He engages in the same kind of activities that created the financial crisis.
His effectiveness as a consumer cop, policing the financial behavior of others, is dubious. Malking notes that “local papers spotlighted shady campaign account-shifting involving nearly $800,000” and even liberal activists groups voiced their concerns.
These are the kind of shenanigans, power plays, fiat fiddling, and Constitution-bashing Obama promised us before the 2008 election. No one can say he hasn’t delivered on his promises. Moderates will say, “Well, he bagged Osama and he pounded the living daylights out of Afghanistan.” Very true, (and Boss, you and I are both delighted with the outcome of the SEAL Six mission. I’m willing to give him his due on that score.) But all the Taliban-bashing has done is made it convenient for China to walk in and grab up all the rare mineral mines. Crediting him with bagging a terrorist is like congratulating a bank robber for stopping a mass murderer and rewarding him by giving him all the money he stole from the safe.
If the unions get their way, there will only be two kinds of jobs: salting french fries at Burger King or working for the government.