Card Check: D.O.A.

March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009
Businesses in general, and seniors housing and care providers in particular, have been watching with apprehension as the misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act," better known as the card check bill, was making the rounds in Congress again. The House punted the bill to the Senate to start the ball rolling again in an attempt to take some of the heat off House members, and with the Democrats having a near filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, all it would take was one Republican to cross the aisle, and pressure had been mounting against a few of them. Today, one of those senators went public with his opinion.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) today announced that he will vote against cloture and against the final passage of the card check bill, bringing to 41 the number of votes against. He is up for reelection in 2010 and has been threatened from both sides of the aisle about his chances, whether in a primary or the general election, based on this vote and other issues where either side has not been happy with his vote, especially when voting with the Democratic majority. The good news is that Senator Specter recognized that in this economic environment passage of the card check bill would harm both employers and employees, with increased costs and possibly reduced jobs. The bad news is that he is "willing to reconsider the Employees' Free Choice legislation when the economy returns to normalcy," if efforts are not successfull in giving Labor sufficient bargaining power through amendments to the National Labor Relations Act. It looks like he, too, is punting and trying to keep peace with both sides. At least for now, however, the card check bill is D.O.A. Let's hope next year we can say, R.I.P.

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