The AFL-CIO advised Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to recommend union attorney Jennifer Abruzzo to fill the vacant Democratic seat on the NLRB, according to a person with direct knowledge of the labor federation's choice. Schumer had asked the AFL-CIO to propose a diverse candidate (i.e., not a white male). Abruzzo spent two decades at the labor board, rising to deputy general counsel and then acting general counsel before moving last year to the Communications Workers of America, where she became special counsel for strategic initiatives.
It's unclear whether the White House wants to fill the slot. Business lobbyists, fearing that Republican member William Emanuel may feel compelled to recuse himself from key decisions (more on that controversy here), have advised the administration to leave the seat vacant to maintain the GOP's 3-1 edge, But an Abruzzi nomination could become a bargaining chip to win approval for Republican labor nominees; Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has pledged to hold up floor votes unless Republicans agree to fill Democratic vacancies on the NLRB and EEOC.