In yesterday’s Roll Call (subscription), communications consultant Bret Jacobson wrote about how the resumption of the push for EFCA may play out in the current political landscape — and in advance of 2010 mid-term elections:
For its part, Big Labor is signaling a demand for action on EFCA. Steve Rosenthal, a top strategist for organized labor, has argued in print that Democrats need to take action to motivate union grass-roots activists for the election and to pass the bill to “energize the union apparatus.”
How many moderate Democrats want to actually energize the labor “apparatus” is up for debate, but the importance of EFCA is not. The president of the Service Employees International Union has suggested the bill could add 1 million to 1.5 million members per year to his union. And the head of the Teamsters estimated that the bill could double his rolls. One estimate put the monetary value of the bill for unions at $35 billion. The head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees blatantly admitted EFCA would be the payback for political support in 2008.
The problem for Democrats, though, is that while EFCA is the top priority for their top special interest group, it’s not for most of their constituents.
Jacobson concludes that a full-frontal push for EFCA will benefit the Republicans politically. The ongoing negotiations to reconcile the pending healthcare legislation will probably continue to provide insight into how the next big legislative debate will unfold.