The backers of Card Check put themselves in a box after three retailers floated a compromise that would have meant the end of both the arbitration and the Card Check portions of the EFCA. Despite bleeding moderates that want to find a middle ground and avoid the elimination of the secret ballot, Card Check advocates insisted that they would not compromise on any of their demands. The result will likely put a stake through the heart of Card Check for this session:
An alternative offered by three of America’s largest corporations to a labor bill that would facilitate union organizing has been shunned by the legislation’s most prominent champions on Capitol Hill.
Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods offered the alternative to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) Sunday to open up a different approach to reforming labor law. Known as the Committee for a Level Playing Field, the coalition has been met by harsh words from lawmakers in Congress.
“This proposal is unacceptable. It was written by CEOs for CEOs. It is not a serious attempt at labor law reform because it fails to fundamentally address key problems that currently prevent workers from being able to join together and bargain for a better life,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in a joint statement.
Unfortunately for Harkin and Miller, they’re discovering that they’re on the fringe rather than the mainstream on Card Check. They had plenty of support when support was essentially meaningless, as George Bush would have vetoed the bill even if they got it passed through Congress, which they have never yet done. Now that Barack Obama is in the White House, many of their former allies have retreated on EFCA, especially in the current business climate.
The compromise plan effectively enables moderates to hold out. They can point to Lanny Davis’ involvement in tubing the card-check and arbitration provisions as legitimate concerns over the more radical proposal from Harkin and Miller. They have no reason now to move to the left on Card Check. It probably couldn’t get 60 votes before the compromise proposal, and it may not even get a majority after it.
In any event, it seems very unlikely to get out of Congress in this session. As reluctant as moderates are to pass Card Check this year, they’ll be even more skittish in an election year, especially if the Obama administration keeps fumbling the economy and railroading radical expansions of government. In 2011, Congress will probably look very different than it does now, and Obama will need to start shifting towards moderates in order to campaign for re-election. Card Check looks more and more like a dead letter.
Previous posts on Card Check:
- Retailers offer compromise on Card Check
- Audio: Mitt Romney on Card Check
- Union employees go on strike … against the union
- Video: SEIU accuses Card Check opponent of wanting workers to die
- Johnson against Card Check, too?
- Video: Murkowski tells AK legislature she’ll oppose Card Check
- Video: Warren Buffett on Card Check
- Video: Blue Dog speaks out against Card Check
- Conference call: Rep. John Kline on Card Check
- The Ed Morrissey Show: Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar, Card Check; John Taylor, Getting Off Track
- Three Dems wavering on Card Check in the Senate?
- Obama tells unions that Card Check will pass this year
- CPAC Interview: Card Check
- Obama moving away from fear-based politics?
- Secret ballots for workers in Mexico, but not the US?
- Will Stern strong-arm unions to join the SEIU?
- Video: Labor officials can’t explain why they need to dump the secret ballot
- Card check a dead letter?
- Audio: Sharpton opposing Card Check?
- Card Check loses a vote? Perhaps
- Video: Blago, SEIU, and Card Check
- DeMint conference call: Card Check, bailouts
- Card Check: A direct pipeline to corruption and abuse
- Can Obama get Democrats to support Card Check?
- Video: The Card Check ad CBS doesn’t want you to see
- Irony escapes the House Democratic Caucus
- Guess who used the secret ballot … again?
- Video: Meet Union Boss Bill
- USA Today: Stop Card Check …
- Video: McGovern on Card Check
- George McGovern to fight Card Check in debate ad
- Video: What if Congress passed Card Check for all elections?
- FRC Action Summit: Barbara Comstock on EFCA
- George McGovern: Stop Card Check
- Where did the SEIU get $150 million for politics?
- Right Online Conference: John Fund
- Maybe this is why they need Card Check?
- Video: “I Hate Heroes”
- Johnny Sac takes on the unions