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Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press
The House has passed a measure that would stop the National Labor Relations Board from conducting business until a dispute over the president's recess appointments is resolved.

WASHINGTON — The House has passed a measure that would stop the National Labor Relations Board from conducting business until a dispute over the president's recess appointments is resolved. It's what amounts to a constitutional three-ring circus.

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The bill, approved on a mostly party line 219-209 vote, is a response to a federal appeals court decision in January which ruled that President Barack Obama violated the Constitution by filling vacancies on the board without Senate confirmation.

The White House says the court is wrong and insists the board can continue operating. Now, the legislative branch has entered the fight, with congressional Republicans claiming the NLRB lacks legitimacy to issue decisions.

The measure isn't expected to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Obama is seeking Senate confirmation of five nominees to the board.