September 30, 2014

Obama re-nominates three at NMB

NMB logo; National Mediation BoardWASHINGTON — President Barack Obama last week re-nominated three individuals to serve on the National Mediation Board, which administers the Railway Labor Act affecting railroads and airlines.

Nominees Harry Hoglander and Linda Puchala are current members of the board. The third nominee is Nicholas C. Geale, a Republican staff member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Hoglander, an attorney and NMB member since 2002, previously was a senior staff member for former House member John Tierney (D-Mass), an executive vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association, an airline captain flying for TWA, and a U.S. Air Force pilot.

Puchala, an NMB member since 2009, previously was an NMB mediator and International President of the Association of Flight Attendants.

Prior to his work with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Geale was an attorney in the Labor Department.

Democrats Hoglander and Puchala hold expired seats on the board and await Senate reconfirmation. The law permits NMB members to continue serving, following expiration of their term, until a successor is confirmed or they are reconfirmed.

President Obama previously nominated Geale on Dec. 17, 2012. Because the Senate failed to act on his nomination prior to Dec. 31, the president had to make new nominations when the new Congress was seated in 2013.

If confirmed Geale will succeed Republican Elizabeth Dougherty, who resigned in July 2012 following expiration of her second term. Obama nominated Republican Thomas Beck to succeed Dougherty, but after the Senate failed to hold a confirmation hearing on his nomination, he withdrew his name.

Typically, Republican and Democratic nominees are paired for confirmation.