Several sources say that, without the recess appointments, the nominees were unlikely to win Senate confirmation. Randy Johnson,  U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for labor, immigration, and employee benefits, said “past actions by the board have so poisoned the well” that they probably wouldn't have been confirmed.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who had vowed to block confirmation of the nominees, said the recess appointments “may impress union bosses but will deliver yet another blow to job creation.” Graham added, [I will] continue to do everything in my power to put the brakes on the NLRB as currently constructed.”

House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who chairs that panel's health, employment, labor and pensions subcommittee, said in a Jan. 6 letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, “The recent actions taken by the president will undermine confidence in the board to the detriment of workers and employers.”

Kline and Roe requested information from the administration regarding the qualifications of the appointees, who never participated in a formal vetting process, Kline says. Kline and Roe also sought information about the president’s legal authority to grant recess appointments when the Senate is in a pro forma session.