The Washington Times - May 6, 2008, 05:19PM

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, applauded news that Robert Battista, President Bush’s pick for chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, was withdrawing his name for consideration by the Senate. Robert_J_Batista.jpg

Bush re-nominated Battista in January for a second term as chairman after the expiration of his five-year term overseeing the nation’s labor laws.

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“Mr. Battista’s tenure on the Board made clear that he was not going to stand up for the nation’s workers,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I urge the president to send us a new nominee who will reverse the board\0x2019s anti-worker, anti-union, anti-labor bias. In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever for employees to have a board that protects their rights.”

Battista withdrew his name after it became clear his nomination would be stymied indefinitely in the Senate, the body which must approve presidential nominees.

“With no guarantee of a timely confirmation hearing, and the economic pressures that are generated with no earned income and 2 children in College, it has become necessary to again return to employment in the private sector,” Battista wrote in a letter to Bush last Thursday. Battista wrote in the letter that effective yesterday he will be working as a labor lawyer in the D.C. law firm of Littler Mendelson.

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore condemned partisan wrangling in the Senate.

“President Bush has accepted Bob Battista’s request to withdraw his nomination with regret,” Lawrimore said in a statement sent to the Times. “It’s unfortunate that the country has lost another devoted public servant because the Senate failed to act on important nominations in a timely manner. Inaction in the Senate discourages highly qualified people from serving their country because they cannot place their families in limbo and their lives on hold indefinitely. It also sets a bad precedent for future administrations. President Bush continues to call upon the Senate to provide all pending nominees with a fair and swift confirmation process.”

Carrie Sheffield, Web Editor, The Washington Times