President Obama's five recent nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were voted out of committee yesterday, and their names are being sent to the full Senate for a package vote, up or down.

The vote will require 60 Senators in favor for cloture should the Republicans decide to filibuster.

Most contentious are the nominees who were recess appointees in January 2012 and whose appointments were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (that decision is now before the Supreme Court). Recess appointees Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, both Democrats, survived the vote in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) along party-line tallies, 13-9, suggesting potential trouble with Senate Republicans. 

The other three current nominees — Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a Democrat, and Republicans Harry I. Johnson III and Philip A. Miscimarra — were unanimously approved.

HELP Committee Republicans have long argued that Block and Griffin should resign in favor of new appointees.

Complicating matters is that Chairman Pearce's term expires at the end of August.