Co-published by International Business Times
From the 25th Congressional District’s high desert to its mountain valleys, even Republican voters are wondering about their congressman.
Atop the list of landmark laws that conservatives have never particularly warmed to are two that established fundamental rights for workers and consumers: the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, which provided employees a legal path to form unions, and the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform, which established a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to rein in banks’ abusive treatment of depositors and mortgage holders. Conservatives have never had the votes or the gumption to repeal these statutes. But now they can essentially neuter these laws.
[Last] Friday, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — all nominated by Republican presidents — ruled that President Obama lacked the authority for three appointments he had made to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during the break between Congress’s 2011 and 2012 sessions. Invoking the president’s power to make one- or two-year appointments while Congress is in recess — a power that presidents have exercised as far back as James Madison — Obama appointed two Democrats and one Republican in the face of continued Republican opposition to his previous NLRB picks. » Read more about: Court Decision Could Cripple NLRB and Consumer Bureau »
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, when Senators Chris Dodd and Barney Frank drew up the landmark regulatory bill that bears their names. One of its lesser-known provisions required U.S. companies to list the inclusion of any “conflict minerals,” mined in or near the violence-plagued Democratic Republic of the Congo, that comprise their brand-name products. The thinking was that this would help cut off funding for the armed groups ravaging that unfortunate country.
But that was way back in 2010, when the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law. With touching innocence, the act entrusted the Securities Exchange Commission to establish the enforcement mechanism for this part of the legislation. This week, retail giant Walmart, along with arch-competitor Target and some other companies, got a free pass from Section 1502 of the law. The news, carried by the Wall Street Journal,