Americans for Tax Reform sent out a breaking e-mail alert this afternoon announcing that GOP Sen. Arlen Specter will oppose Big Labor’s Card Check bill. This is a huge relief. Democrats are one short of the 60 needed to move it forward.
But it’s no time to do cartwheels over Specter.
If he thinks one right vote will mitigate the mountain of all the wrong one, he is mistaken.
2:31pm Eastern. Specter just announced his decision on Senate floor and denied that he cut some sort of deal. Says he would be willing to reconsider Card Check when economy improves and his requests to amend the National Labor Relations Act are approved.
4:20pm Eastern. Pat Toomey picks up on the fine print…
Statement from Pat Toomey on Specter’s Conditional Reversal
“When Senator Specter does a flip flop, it’s worth checking the fine print. On the senate floor today he said: “I would be willing to reconsider Employees’ Free Choice legislation when the economy returns to normalcy.” In other words, if he thinks his political fortunes have improved, he will deny workers a secret ballot after all.” – Former Congressman Pat Toomey
Peter Kirsanow is right: The battle is far from over…
Although this is a significant blow to labor’s agenda, the battle is far from over. Specter noted that EFCA was the most heavily lobbied bill he’d ever seen. EFCA proponents aren’t going away. There are several compromises that have been floated over the last several weeks (especially keep a sharp eye on “equal access” proposals). One or more will become the new focus of lobbying efforts.
Since EFCA supporters are certain to change their legislative strategy, opponents must also. They’ll be making a big mistake if they relax their efforts — the horse-trading may be just beginning in earnest.