House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) claimed on Friday that the National Labor Relations Board had refused to comply with a subpoena the committee issued on Sunday. The subpoena asked for documents related to the NLRB’s action against Boeing, and requested they be sent by today at noon.
“The National Labor Relations Board and Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon have thus far failed to comply with a lawful subpoena,” Issa said in a statement Friday afternoon. “This refusal by NLRB to abide by the law further heightens concerns that this is a rogue agency acting improperly. The integrity of NLRB and its leadership is clearly in question.”
The NLRB did send 4,300 pages of documents, according to a letter from Solomon, which “should provide sufficient information to allow the Committee to assess the legal merit of the Boeing complaint,” the letter insisted. But Solomon maintained that “full compliance with the subpoena would unquestionably jeopardize the constitutional due process rights of the parties to the case.” The letter also claimed that “the subpoena threatens to undermine the Agency’s independence.”
The NLRB’s letter came shortly after three prominent Democrats – Reps. Elijah Cummings (MD), John Conyers (MI), and George Miller (CA) – asked Issa to withdraw his subpoenas. “You may personally disagree with the laws Congress enacted to protect workers against discrimination,” the three lawmakers said in a letter Friday. “You may also disagree with the judge’s decision in this case upholding the laws. But it is not a legitimate use of the committee’s authority to circumvent those laws on behalf of corporate interests.”
But Issa maintained that the Boeing probe is purely rooted in the public interest:
The public has a right to know the truth about why a government agency would choose to take action to benefit organized labor that threatens thousands of non-union jobs in South Carolina while setting a precedent impacting manufacturers across the country.
It is imperative that Congress get complete facts about NLRB’s decision-making process in this matter. Its continued refusal to fully cooperate will not deter this Committee as it moves forward in efforts to determine what occurred and to hold NLRB officials to account.