Earlier this week, the Washington Post‘s editorial page criticized the business community for a perceived intransigence on EFCA and the Senate effort underway to craft a "compromise" proposal. Now it seems there are special interests on the other side of the debate equally dug in on their position.
Union lobbying organization American Rights At Work has launched an ad pressuring new Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) to support EFCA instead of exploring alternative avenues to reform American labor law. The ad "Where will Specter stand?" will run on cable and broadcast television stations in Pennsylvania throughout May.
Senator Specter, of course, was instrumental in generating the discussions now underway in the Senate. His public announcement in late March that he would not vote for cloture opened the door — and some would suggest provided political cover — for Democrats like Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and others to openly acknowledge their discomfort with the bill as drafted. Contrary to the ad’s suggestion, Senator Specter’s previous "support" for EFCA was never absolute — indeed, it was highly qualified. On the Senate floor in 2007, he declared his belief that EFCA was a seriously flawed proposal, but that labor law reform was necessary. He advocated a more thorough debate and a bipartisan, analytical approach to that reform in his 2007 floor speech, his 2008 Harvard Journal on Legislation Policy Essay, and in the Senate in late March.
Now that he has switched parties and has reached out to EFCA’s supporters to begin exploring reform by alternative routes, it seems groups like ARAW want him to understand that anything short of full support for EFCA in its current form is unacceptable.
- "Labor Group Targets Specter in Card-Check Ad" — WSJ Washington Wire blog
- "Unions Air First Ad Hitting Democrat Arlen Specter" — The Plum Line blog
- "Pro-Labor Group Ramping Up Offensive On Specter On EFCA" — The Hill
- "Labor Pressuring Specter Gently" — Politico
- "Card Check: Welcome. Welcome. Now Dance." — ShopFloor.org