Senate Committee Advances Labor Board Nominee John Ring

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By Tyrone Richardson

The Senate labor committee March 14 approved President Donald Trump’s third nominee for the National Labor Relations Board, clearing a path for a full Senate vote.

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee by a party-line vote approved management attorney John Ring to fill the fifth seat on the NLRB. Ring, a partner at law firm Morgan Lewis, is expected to get full Republican support when his nomination lands on the Senate floor.

If confirmed, Ring would shift the NLRB back to a 3-2 Republican majority. The board is expected to use GOP control to take another look at a wide range of board decisions issued during the Obama administration.

Committee Democrats have raised concerns with Ring, and have questioned whether his work with Morgan Lewis will require Ring to recuse himself from certain cases. Ring told lawmakers during his March 1 confirmation hearing that he wants to avoid some of the conflict-of-interest questions that have dogged member William Emanuel (R) early in his stint on the board.

The board Feb. 26 scrapped its decision in the closely watched Hy-Brand case in response to an NLRB inspector general report finding that Emanuel should not have participated.

The committee vote also comes after Ring submitted a list of clients that could pose a conflict of interest. Ring also answered written questions from some HELP Committee Democrats, including ranking Democrat Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), who asked Ring 71 questions ranging from views of overturning long-standing precedents to NLRB reorganization.

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