- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

House Republicans are fighting back against President Obama’s misuse of administrative power to punish right-to-work states. On Tuesday, Rep. Tim Scott introduced legislation to protect a Boeing 787 Dreamliner production plant in his South Carolina district from the outrageous complaint filed by pro-union thugs at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The agency wants to force the airline manufacturer to close up operations in Charleston and move the jobs to Puget Sound, where the labor bosses reign, because setting up in South Carolina was allegedly an example of “unfair labor practices.”

The Job Protection Act would, if enacted, clarify that federal law gives the NLRB no power to decide where any U.S. company should or should not do business. “For the NLRB to punish a company for locating in a right-to-work state is an abuse of federal executive power,” Mr. Scott explained to The Washington Times’ Emily Miller. “This administration has clearly overstepped its bounds through the inappropriate actions of an unelected regulatory board.”

Mr. Scott’s district would take a big hit if the plant, which is slated to open for production in July, were to close its doors. The facility would create at least 4,000 direct hires from Boeing and an estimated 4,000 indirect hires. Local suppliers and others firms in nearby communities would also receive a boost from the large production order. “Unemployment in South Carolina is above 9 percent,” Mr. Scott said. “This isn’t helping.” Mr. Scott called for Mr. Obama to fire the man responsible for the decision, NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, saying, “Taxpayers should not be paying a salary for someone whose actions are destroying jobs.”

House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, Minnesota Republican, has been trying to secure documents from the NLRB related to the Boeing case. So far he has received a short reply and no documents from the agency. “The NLRB is not immune from congressional oversight or public scrutiny,” Mr. Kline said in a statement. The committee is requesting information on the Boeing case because “there are legitimate questions over public statements made by NLRB officials and the timing of its complaint.” The NLRB needs to come clean on how and why it has taken action against Boeing.

The way the White House has treated this major employer is a perfect example of why unemployment stands at 9 percent. Instead of allowing the Boeing’s leadership team to make the decisions in the best interest of its employees and shareholders, unelected Beltway bureaucrats demand the right to substitute their personal judgment. It’s just a bit suspicious that the NLRB decision appeals to the liberal union demographic that is going to be playing such a key role in the 2012 elections.

If Mr. Obama wants a second term, he ought instead to focus on doing what it takes to get America working. The only way to move the needle on unemployment is to get businesses hiring again, which will happen when government gets out of the way.

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