Crash of ObamaCare means no Card Check this year

posted at 3:11 pm on July 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

With all of the attention focused on Barack Obama’s agenda on health care this summer, another explosive issue has withered from a lack of attention. Despite the removal of the bill’s most controversial option, the Senate still has no plans to move EFCA, better known as Card Check, any time this year. Not only does the Senate have no time or stomach for another battle with moderates, they don’t have a full complement to guarantee cloture:

Senate efforts to compromise on a watered-down version of the Employee Free Choice Act have been put firmly on the chamber’s back burner — perhaps for the rest of the year — as senators, aides and lobbyists focus on health care and other legislation, participants said.

“We’re not doing anything right now,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said of talks he has led among a group of Democrats since it became clear in late March that a more ambitious “card check” bill to help unions organize could not win 60 Senate votes.

“We’ve got the healthcare bill; we’ve got appropriations bills, and we’re lacking two senators that we need right now,” Harkin said in an interview. “Nothing is happening on that right now.”

The Card Check bill has a number of problems, primarily attendance. Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy have not returned to the Senate, which leaves Democrats two votes short of gaining cloture on party-line votes. Byrd has occasionally re-appeared, but no one can be sure on a day-to-day basis when he’ll be available. Kennedy probably won’t be back, at least not soon, as he is far too ill to conduct daily business on the Hill.

Even if Democrats had both firmly ensconced and in good health, though, they can’t afford the fight. Like health care and cap-and-trade, Card Check splits Democrats while leaving Republicans united in opposition. ObamaCare nearly broke the Democrats in the House last week, and when the Senate takes up their Waxman-Markey bill in the fall, the Senate will have the same split between the coastal liberals and the Rust Belt moderates — including Byrd. They have to get through both health care and cap-and-trade without dissolving altogether, and Card Check would just make the same differences even wider.

That leaves Card Check for an election year. It’s possible to see Democratic leadership being foolish enough to try passing a small-business nightmare like EFCA before the midterms, although I doubt Republicans will get that lucky.  Even without the actual Card Check provision, the mandatory government arbitration of labor disputes will push business interests back towards the GOP while the Left gets angry over the reaffirmation of secret-ballot elections.

If the Senate won’t take up EFCA this year, it’s probably dead until 2011, and at that point the GOP may have gained enough seats in both chambers to stop it.


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The fear of loss is a path to the Socialized Medicine

CMonster on July 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Kennedy probably won’t be back, at least not soon, as he is far too ill to conduct daily business on the Hill.

I don’t see why. Even in his present condition, he can not read bills as well as the next guy – perhaps even better.

PackerBronco on July 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Obama’s Agenda: dead in the water!

pseudonominus on July 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

A Twofer!
Now, with Cap’n Tax going down, it’s Dow 12,000!

TexasJew on July 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Good deal.

LiquidH2O on July 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Kennedy probably won’t be back, at least not soon, as he is far too ill to conduct daily business on the Hill.

Thank goodness for the best medical treatment millionaires can buy!

That’s a good slogan:

Private insurance=Good for Senators
Government insurance=Good for you Peasants

battleoflepanto1571 on July 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

If the Dems held all 535 seats, they’d still find a way to eff it all up.
.
.
Thank goodness!

innominatus on July 29, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Less = More

Good Lt on July 29, 2009 at 3:16 PM

2010:The year of the mother of all backlashes!

gsherin on July 29, 2009 at 3:17 PM

wither away!

I believe the (D)s are foolish enough to try get it pass during an election year, if cap and trade & obamacare both crash & burn at the end of this year….they want to give the Big O a mark under the Win column

cmsinaz on July 29, 2009 at 3:18 PM

rahm learned long ago to toss it all against the wall to see what sticks – this isn’t dead by a long shot

gatorboy on July 29, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Is it possible to be pessimistically optimistic?

Can it be possible that even with 60 votes…Obama won’t get a thing passed and after 2010 he won’t have those 60 votes…

Rogue on July 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I think Rush just mentioned that this was getting put into the hc bill.

Mommypundit on July 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Shame. I always thought that dictating the terms of the contractual framework within which private enterprise negotiates working arrangements, was perfectly Constitutional.

If your version of the Constitution reads: “I won”, of course.

LimeyGeek on July 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

The simple fact that our “leaders” refuse to sign up for what they will force on us is a huge “Let them eat Cake” moment. Maybe they should be given a history lesson on how well that played in France…….

search4truth on July 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Obama’s Agenda: dead in the water!

pseudonominus on July 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

kinda like MaryJo.

MarkTheGreat on July 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM

I think Rush just mentioned that this was getting put into the hc bill.

Harry Reid has said that he’s going to try so sneak it in there in the Senate version.

What a cockroach.

Good Lt on July 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM

I think Rush just mentioned that this was getting put into the hc bill.

Mommypundit on July 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

He said that Cap-and-Trade is making it into the Senate’s ObamaCare bill, not Card Check, when I was listening.

teke184 on July 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Ain’t dead when people like Andy Stern of SEIU need it to keep their personal wealth growing. But just possibly it won’t happen…some bad ideas do founder on their demerits.

Harry Schell on July 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Mr. President? Call on Line 2. Mr. Hoffa, sir.

kingsjester on July 29, 2009 at 3:25 PM

The fear of loss is a path to the Socialized Medicine

CMonster on July 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Indeed – Lenin called medicine the “keystone in the arch of socialism.”

harry flashman on July 29, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Obama’s Agenda: dead in the water!

pseudonominus on July 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Obama is not of this earth. Obama is more like a parasitic infection.
Never count his agenda down. Even when Obama is gone the nutroots
will keep pushing.

izoneguy on July 29, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Like health care and cap-and-trade, Card Check splits Democrats while leaving Republicans united in opposition.

Ahh. This is a pleasant fiction.

Or did a few “pragmatists” follow in Specter’s footsteps without me noticing?

Lehosh on July 29, 2009 at 3:25 PM

The ignorance of the American electorate can be exploited with ONE deception at a time. To rush this many lies and deceptions through in such a small time frame questions the competence of this administration.

volsense on July 29, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Never say never. Not with this generation of democrats.

Skandia Recluse on July 29, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Meanwhile, Ogabe is trying to sneak in under the radar with his plan for the Feds to become the nation’s largest provider of student loans.

You kill one ant’s nest and another pops up right beside it.

Bishop on July 29, 2009 at 3:30 PM

izoneguy on July 29, 2009 at 3:25 PM

I agree. we must maintain 100% vigilance until the fraud leaves office.

Actually I’m more afraid than exultant. God knows what pressure he and Rahm will exert during the congressional recess. I fear a surprise deal.

pseudonominus on July 29, 2009 at 3:31 PM

At what point can we recognize the entire government as an enemy of the state and act accordingly?

LimeyGeek on July 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Harry Reid has said that he’s going to try so sneak it in there in the Senate version.

Good Lt on July 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM

This is why the Confederate States of America added this to their constitution:

20. Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

WashJeff on July 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Greed is a terrible thing, and Democrats thought they could eat their cake, and have the cookies too. All the while thinking, that because Obama won, they could do what ever they wanted, and we’d just roll over quietly, and let them.

capejasmine on July 29, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Meanwhile, Ogabe is trying to sneak in under the radar with his plan for the Feds to become the nation’s largest provider of student loans.

Bishop on July 29, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Whew, that’s good. We need more lawyers. /sarc off

WashJeff on July 29, 2009 at 3:34 PM

My mental health can’t afford for me to NOT be optimistic.

I will continue to look at this as a win.

flyawaybird on July 29, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Obama’s Agenda: dead in the water!

pseudonominus on July 29, 2009 at 3:14 PM

~Three cheer’s for the red white and blue….

FontanaConservative on July 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM

wheres the thread on KBH stepping down?

gatorboy on July 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Well, this is CNNs breaking story
Dems report compromise on health care
A group of fiscally conservative House Democrats announced they had reached a deal with Democratic leaders on a bill that would revamp the nation’s health care system. Rep. Mike Ross, speaking for four of the Blue Dog Democrats, said the House would not vote until after the August recess. President Obama issued a statement thanking lawmakers for “working so hard to find common ground.” developing story

scalleywag on July 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Lenin called medicine the “keystone in the arch of socialism.”

Yep, and that’s precisely the reason the Soviets dominated the Nobel’s in medicine for all those years… oh, wait.

drunyan8315 on July 29, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Another clear victory for Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the Dems!

Christien on July 29, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Hey, what about NFL players? Will they have to wait weeks for MRI’s?

Akzed on July 29, 2009 at 4:02 PM

If the Senate won’t take up EFCA this year, it’s probably dead until 2011, and at that point the GOP may have gained enough seats in both chambers to stop it.

.
Party like it’s 1994!

iurockhead on July 29, 2009 at 4:16 PM

This is why the Confederate States of America added this to their constitution:

20. Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.
WashJeff on July 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Awesome!

pseudonominus on July 29, 2009 at 4:23 PM

wheres the thread on KBH stepping down?

gatorboy on July 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM

So we can complain that she doesn’t leave next week.

Vashta.Nerada on July 29, 2009 at 4:24 PM

It’s still Cheney’s fault.

angryed on July 29, 2009 at 4:27 PM

This is why the Confederate States of America added this to their constitution:

20. Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.
WashJeff on July 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Pennsylvania’s constitution has a similary provision and the PA Supreme Court has struck down a few laws that violated it.

Wethal on July 29, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Back before Mr. Obama started scaring us to death with healthcare I wrote to Sen. Nelson (D-FL) about card check and even in the full bloom of Obamamania he did not seem to choked up about it. Not to worry though he is lovin some Obamacare.

Cindy Munford on July 29, 2009 at 4:39 PM

You know, I can’t help but wonder how much difference there would be with all this crap if McCain had won.

He would have been supportive of Cap n Trade.
On healthcare, he would have provided the Dems with cover to act “bi-partisanly” and given RINO’s the cover they need, too.
He probably would veto Card Check.
And he probably would have passed a stimulus bill not a heck of a lot better than the one we got.

In a way, we might be better off with Ogabe, because he’s so inept at congressional politics and having him at the WH gives so-called blue dogs the ability to play like they’re being responsible, whereas if McCain was President, they’d be under more pressure from their Leftist constituents to stick it to him.

guntotinglibertarian on July 29, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Woo hoo! A small victory!

nazo311 on July 29, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Hey, Feinstein just replied to me on Cap n Trade.

She says it’s going to create millions of new Green Jobs.

Well, gosh, I didn’t realize that.

Okey dokey, then.

guntotinglibertarian on July 29, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Hey, Feinstein just replied to me on Cap n Trade.

She says it’s going to create millions of new Green Jobs.

Well, gosh, I didn’t realize that.

Okey dokey, then.

guntotinglibertarian on July 29, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Kermit will be happy…

right2bright on July 29, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Card Check is dead because the unions could care less since they can’t trash the “secret ballot” provision. Why tell the Democrats ‘debt paid’ for past political support when you didn’t get what you want. Better to keep that IOU in their pocket.

GarandFan on July 29, 2009 at 4:51 PM

kinda like MaryJo.

MarkTheGreat on July 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Wow, scorch +1000

msmveritas on July 29, 2009 at 4:54 PM

Ed, Did you miss the article in Roll Call today?

As Senate Democrats struggle to hammer out a compromise bill on union organizing, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is sketching a process for railroading the bill through the floor as quickly as possible to prevent Republicans from rallying a major campaign against it, senior Democratic aides said.

http://www.okstatechamber.com/news/general-news/speed-may-be-key-labor-bill

MrSteve on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Harry Reid has said that he’s going to try so sneak it in there in the Senate version.

What a cockroach.

Good Lt on July 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM

This is what they do. They attach things they don’t want to deal with to other things and hope it doesn’t get noticed.

Kind of like with the hate crimes bill they attached to a defense bill at like 3 am.

powerpro on July 29, 2009 at 6:48 PM