House Republicans Seek White House Documents on ‘Unprecedented’ Firings of NLRB Lawyers

February 3, 2021 Updated: February 3, 2021

Four House Republicans want to see all official documents from President Joe Biden’s White House and one of his Cabinet-level transition teams related to the firing of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) two top lawyers.

Biden fired NLRB general counsel Peter Robb near the end of the president’s first day in the Oval Office, then fired Robb’s acting successor, deputy general counsel Alice Stock.

The general counsel has a central role in managing cases the NLRB accepts and how it decides them. The position requires Senate confirmation for a four-year term; Robb’s term would have concluded in November.

The NRLB was created by the 1935 Wagner Act, with regulatory authority over the implementation and interpretation of federal labor laws and regulations, a power that makes it critically important to labor unions and corporate managers. The general counsel position was created by the National Labor Relations Act of 1947.

In a letter made public on Feb. 3 to White House Counsel to President Dana Remus; Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the ranking minority member of the House Education and Labor Committee called Biden’s actions “unprecedented” and a “disturbing precedent” for labor-management relations.

“Just 22 minutes after speaking of unity and embracing an orderly transition of power, President Biden requested Mr. Robb resign, prior to the completion of his Senate-confirmed four-year term. With 10 months of his term left, Mr. Robb declined to resign. President Biden then fired him on Jan. 20 as one of his very first actions as President,” the Republicans said in their letter.

Reps. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) also signed the letter with Comer and Foxx. The letter was also addressed to Chris Lu, team lead to the Department of Labor (DOL) for the Biden-Harris transition team.

“The next day, Mr. Robb’s replacement, Deputy General Counsel Alice Stock was told to resign by 5pm or she would be dismissed as well. She declined to resign and was also fired. Given the timing of Mr. Robb’s and Ms. Stock’s firings, we want to understand whether they were removed for partisan political purposes, as retaliation for some action they undertook at the NRLB, or other reasons,” the Republicans continued.

Robb is the first general counsel to be terminated.

“Congress constructed the General Counsel’s office to be free from political influence, ensuring it is free to investigate and prosecute potential violations of the law.

“By firing Mr. Robb and Ms. Stock, President Biden is setting a disturbing precedent for politicizing an office created to be independent from political pressure,” the Republicans contended in their letter.

A White House spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment. Spokesmen for Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the Oversight committee’s chairwoman, and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-N.Y.), the Education and Labor panel’s chairman, didn’t immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

The Republicans cited media reports that Biden had been lobbied by major labor unions, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA), about terminating Robb.

The requested documents included:

  • All documents and communications between the White House and any outside persons or organizations, including SEIU, from Jan. 20, 2021, to present related to requesting the resignation and/or removal of any employee in the NLRB Office of General Counsel, including Robb and Stock.
  • All documents and communications between the White House and the Biden-Harris transition team related to requesting the resignation and/or removal of any employee in the NLRB Office of General Counsel, including Robb and Stock.
  • All documents and communications between the White House and the NLRB related to requesting the resignation and/or removal of any employee in the NLRB Office of General Counsel, including Robb and Stock.
  • All internal documents and communications between and among White House employees relating to requesting the resignation and/or removal of any employee in the NLRB Office of General Counsel, including Robb and Stock.

Contact Mark Tapscott at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc