Sen.Arlen Specter (D-PA) has held a number of different views on theEmployee Free Choice Act in the last couple of years. Now, it looks asthough the EFCA-supporter-turned-opponent may be shifting his positiononce more, recent reports suggest.
Asupporter of EFCA during the last session of congress (while still aRepublican) Specter withdrew his endorsement of the bill in March,shortly after Democrats took control of Congress and the White Housein January. (McKnight’s, 3/26) When Specter changed parties April28 and became a Democrat, he warned his new liberal allies that hewould not toe the party line for them any more than he had for theRepublicans, specifically saying “my position on Employees FreeChoice (card check) will not change.” (McKnight’s, 4/29)
OnThursday, however, Specter told reporters that he has been workingwith the White House and other senators on a compromise that couldpave the way for his re-endorsement of EFCA.Speculationabounds as to just what compromises Specter would be willing toaccept. His primary opposition is to EFCA’s arbitrationclause—which imposes a federally backed labor contract if one cannotbe independently negotiated within a certain time frame—and thecontentious “card check” provision—which allows workers tounionize if a majority sign onto the idea. Some suggest that Specterwill have a hard time getting re-elected as a Democrat if he continuesto oppose EFCA, and that any “compromises” are likely to be moresuperficial than substantive, suggests an analysis at Salon.com.