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Harkin Statement Regarding Efforts to Ensure A Fully Functioning National Labor Relations Board

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on today’s announcement from the White House regarding the administration’s withdrawal of Sharon Block’s nomination to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“It is truly unfortunate that Sharon Block, a dedicated public servant, will not have this opportunity to serve on the National Labor Relations Board at the present time as a result of circumstances that are completely out of her control. A former staff member on the Senate HELP Committee, Ms. Block is extraordinarily well-qualified to serve and she is widely respected and liked by both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. She has now twice agreed to the President’s request to serve on the Board, and she proved herself an able Board member.  

“My only consolation is the President’s choice of Lauren McFerran as a nominee to the National Labor Relations Board. Ms. McFerran currently serves as Chief Labor Counsel and Deputy Staff Director of the Senate HELP Committee. I am proud to have her as a member of my staff and I know, first hand, that the President could have not found a more able successor to Ms. Block. Ms. McFerran is an incredibly talented lawyer with deep knowledge and strong character who will be a great asset to the Board.

“As chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, I am proud to have presided over the first fully confirmed NLRB board in 10 years. I intend for the Board to remain fully functional and I look forward to the speedy confirmation of Ms. McFerran so that the Board can continue its important work.”