The Washington Post, citing the Allentown Morning Call, reports that over the weekend Senator Specter told union leaders in Pittsburgh that they would be satisfied with his vote on EFCA (there’s some speculation that the bill could be taken up in the next month).
It’s unclear to which version of EFCA Specter’s referring. A few months ago, Specter declared that he would not support the card-check provision of EFCA. He’s also expressed reservations concerning the mandatory-arbitration provision. When Specter announced his switch to the Democratic party, he asserted that the move would not affect these positions.
But that was then. It’s highly unlikely Labor would be “satisfied” with any version of EFCA that doesn’t exponentially improve the odds of unionization. It’s also unlikely that Labor would be “satisfied” with a bill that doesn’t have some form of mandatory arbitration.
When Franken is seated, Specter will be the magical 60th vote for cloture on EFCA. Specter knows that if he derails a version of the bill satisfactory to Labor, he may well derail his prospects in the Democratic primary. Therefore, Specter may be signaling support for a bill that contains quickie elections and equal access, as well as a modified form of mandatory arbitration — perhaps one triggered by bargaining delays.