Arkansas political columnist and television host David J. Sanders writes today on the Arkansas News website that officials of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce met with U.S. Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR) to express concerns about the Employee Free Choice Act. After that meeting, Chamber officials reportedly revealed the contents of the discussions with Rep. Berry:
An official informed the group that Berry recently had told him that he thought the bill was a piece of junk and that he only voted for it because he knew then-President Bush would veto it.
The official then told the group that Berry recounted to him a recent discussion the Blue Dogs had with House Democratic leadership. According to Berry, the Blue Dogs told House leadership that card check wasn’t a free vote for them anymore and that their constituents were giving them a lot of grief over the issue.
The Blue Dogs strongly urged House leadership not to bring this bill back up on the House floor until the Senate had passed something first, because they look like idiots for continuing to pass it and then it dying in the Senate.
The official claimed that Berry had ensured him that this time around, the business community had stepped up its game and he was hearing from a lot of people in his district about how bad this bill really was.
“Blue Dogs,” of course, refers to a coalition of moderate and conservative Democrats, often Southerners, who don’t always see eye-to-eye with party leadership.
Mr. Sanders apparently received this information from Chamber members, and was unable to persuade either Chamber officials or Rep. Berry’s office to confirm the remarks. But, the apparent reluctance of some in the Democratic caucus to co-sponsor EFCA 09 combined with President Obama’s seemingly dampened enthusiasm, certainly seems consistent with this report.