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updated: 7/24/2013 10:13 AM

Labor board nominees advance in Senate

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A Senate panel has approved President Barack Obama's new nominees for the National Labor Relations Board, setting them up for confirmation in the full Senate as early as next week.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted largely along party lines to confirm Democrats Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa. The two were nominated last week as part of an agreement in which Republicans agreed to end stalling tactics that blocked some of Obama's appointments.

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The nominees would replace two board members who were recess appointments. At least two federal appeals courts have ruled that those appointments were unconstitutional, and GOP lawmakers insisted their nominations for full terms be withdrawn.

A fight over recess appointments to the agency helped set off the Senate showdown earlier this month over filibusters.

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