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The NLRB already has been a target of GOP and business anger for its clash with aerospace giant Boeing over the company’s new manufacturing plant in South Carolina. The agency has filed a motion to move the work — and some 1,000 jobs — back to Washington state, where the company’s original plant is still located. NLRB officials contend that Boeing officials were illegally punishing union workers by moving additional work out of state.

The political battle may find even find its way inside Mr. Obama’s Cabinet.

The president’s pick to head the Commerce Department, former utility executive John Bryson, criticized the NLRB’s handling of the Boeing case at his confirmation hearing Tuesday in the Senate. Mr. Bryson served on the board of Boeing until recently.

“I think it’s not the right judgment,” Mr. Bryson said, under questioning from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican.

The new regulations are likely to keep the NLRB a focus of partisan battles as the 2012 election season heats up.

“If President Obama is serious about job creation as he repeatedly claims, he must stop the anti-job creation menace that his NLRB has become,” said Fred Wszolek, spokesman for the Workforce Fairness Institute, which has long criticized the agency.