On Wednesday morning's "Morning Joe" program, Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) announced that he will head a group of centrist Democrats that will act together on fiscal legislation in the Senate. Informally labelling the group the "Practicality Caucus," Sen. Bayh said that roughly 12-15 Democrat and Independent senators have begun to meet and discuss a number of issues. The group includes many Democrat Senators often mentioned as less enthusiastic about EFCA: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and others.
We have long speculated that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) may be in a position to push an alternative labor law reform agenda. He was joined with the Republican Senators from Maine, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins in working across the aisle on the economic stimulus bill.
Employers should watch the evolution of Sen. Bayh's bloc carefully as it could provide the base for a working group to drive modifications or alternatives to EFCA.
Here is the MSNBC clip of Bayh's announcement:
- "GIving O A Bayh" -- Kirsten Powers in the New York Post
- "Bayh announces 'working group' of centrist Senate Dems" -- The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
- "Bayh launches group for moderate Dems" -- The Back Story blog
- "Bayh Organizes Moderate Democrats" -- NY Times' The Caucus blog