Kevin Bogardus of The Hill remains one of the most active reporters on the status of the Employee Free Choice Act. His piece this morning compiles the commentary of numerous Democrat lawmakers seeking to mitigate Senator Arlen Specter's (D-PA) assurances to the AFL-CIO that an alternative EFCA bill had been finalized and would pass in 2009. Confirming an earlier report by the National Association of Manufacturers Shopfloor Twitter feed, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) indicates in the piece that there have been no formal talks on the union bill since July, and, that moderate Democrats have not been involved in discussions.
Other remarks from the piece:
- Senator Carper:
“As they say, frank and honest discussion. I think we have made real progress and narrowed somewhat of the differences between organized labor and the business community. We are not quite there yet. My hope is we will finish what we have started.”
- Senator Harry Reid (D-NV):
Asked about any deal on the bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said,” I’m not aware of any.”
- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL):
Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the same, calling the issue “a work in progress” and saying he expects the Democrats’ lead negotiator, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), will inform Democrats when a deal is reached.
“It’s been in progress for months,” Durbin said. “I think if they ever reach common agreement, they’ll notify us and then we will take it from there.”
And confirming Carper's assessment of the "Centrist Democrat" involvement in these talks:
“Nothing final, to my knowledge, has been finalized, but I know members from both sides have been working on, I guess, a compromise,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) was surprised to hear the issue was being revived. “From what I understood, the whole card-check issue was dead,” Hagan said.
And Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who faces reelection in 2010 and said earlier this year she would oppose the bill, said she is unaware of any changes. “I haven’t heard or seen anything yet,” Lincoln said.