The Senate will wade into the contentious area of the National Labor Relations Board again October 28, when a vote is scheduled on the nomination of Richard Griffin to serve as the agency's top lawyer.
President Barack Obama nominated Griffin to be the general counsel at the NLRB only after an earlier push to keep him on the labor board itself failed.
Griffin was named to the labor board in 2012 under Obama's recess appointment authority, angering Republicans and spurring challenges in courts across the country. The Supreme Court will hear a dispute over the validity of the president's recess appointments to the NLRB.
Senate Republicans blocked Griffin and other NLRB nominees from getting confirmation votes earlier this year. Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to allow votes on NLRB nominees to move forward.
In that agreement, Griffin's name was withdrawn. The board is now fully operational with five members.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee in September approved Griffin's general counsel nomination. At a hearing, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) implied that Griffin would get an "up or down" vote on the Senate floor.
"Mr. Griffin has the legal credentials but his background as a union advocate and his work as general counsel for one of the major unions doesn't do anything to help me believe that he will improve the situation at the NLRB," Alexander said in a written statement. "I can count, so I know that the Democratic majority will report Mr. Griffin's name to the floor and that he will have an up or down vote and will be confirmed, but I'm going to vote no."
Still, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a cloture motion on Griffin's nomination late Wednesday night, a procedure to force a vote when there is a filibuster. Reid did not indicate on the Senate floor why he would have to make the move.
The Senate is expected to vote Monday on whether to have a vote on Griffin's nomination.
This blog was updated to correct the date of the vote.