updated 2/9/2010 10:35:48 AM ET 2010-02-09T15:35:48

Senate Republicans have succeeded in blocking President Barack Obama's choice of a union lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board.

The 52-33 vote to move forward with the nomination of Craig Becker fell short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP filibuster.

Republicans have held up Becker's confirmation for months. They say Becker would push an aggressive union agenda at the agency that referees labor disputes between unions and management.

The task for Democratic leaders turned more difficult when at least two Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the lawyer.

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