President Joe Biden’s choices to fill out leadership at the Federal Labor Relations Authority — the body responsible for resolving disputes between federal employee unions and agency leadership — moved closer to confirmation, as the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee voted Nov. 3 to advance all three nominees.

Ernest DuBester, who serves as the chair of the FLRA, was nominated for a second term in that same position.

Susan Tsui Grundmann, who previously served on the Merit Systems Protection Board and as the executive director of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights, was nominated to also serve as a member of the FLRA.

And Kurt Rumsfeld, currently assistant general counsel for the FLRA, was chosen to take up the general counsel position, which has not had a permanent official since January 2017.

“These are three extraordinarily qualified nominees who are ready for these very vital roles,” said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.

All three nominees received votes of 6-5, split along the committee’s party lines.

According to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the Republican members voted against the nominations because the FLRA has been less productive under DuBester’s leadership. He added that his fellow party members would prefer to maintain the existing quorum of two members on the board until the Republican member’s position — currently held by Collen Kiko — is up for nomination in July 2022, to have a politically balanced set of nominees.

Because the nominees got a majority of committee votes, they now move on to the full Senate for consideration.

Jessie Bur covers the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees.

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