Lincoln Will Not Support EFCAApril 6, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
Another key senator has come out against the Employee Free Choice Act, basically sealing its death (in its current form). Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] today announced that she will vote against the bill, and against moving it beyond a Republican filibuster. Senator Lincoln voted in favor of the bill in 2007.
Sam Stein at the Huffington Post:
Labor forces can ill-afford to lose any Democrats in this legislative battle, given the partisan lines of the EFCA vote in 2007. Already, Sen. Arlen Specter, the lone Senate Republican to vote for cloture on the Employee Free Choice Act back then, has indicated he will oppose cloture if the bill were to be brought up in this Congress.
Lincoln, long considered a crucial Democratic vote on EFCA, was the focus of intense political pressure. Union groups were courting her support while the business community had made her a primary target for defection. Indeed, WalMart hired her former chief of staff for the precise purpose of lobbying on EFCA. Lincoln is up for reelection in 2010.
Realistically, Democrats are now looking at passing a pared down version of the bill, if any. One likely compromise would involve scrapping the “card check” procedure and keeping the new guidelines for unions and employers to negotiate first contracts and the increased fines for employers that violate workers’ rights to unionize.