Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Impact Of The Massachusetts Vote On EFCA

Yesterday in Massachusetts, Scott Brown (the Republican) defeated Martha Coakley (the Democrat) in a special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. As a result, the Democrats have lost their supermajority in the Senate which will likely undermine health care reform and other items on the Obama agenda.

One of the definitive upsides to the Brown victory is its impact on the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA"). Many, with the exception of organized labor, seem to agree that EFCA is dead in 2010 without a Democrat supermajority to move the legislation forward in the Senate. While organized labor is pushing the Democrats hard on getting EFCA signed into law, EFCA is likely to go nowhere in 2010 unless the Democrats come up with a compromise version that Republicans can support (i.e., no card check and no binding arbitration). Given the seemingly intransigent position of the unions on the proposed legislation, I doubt that such a compromise will be achieved.

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