House Blue Dogs On EFCA: Let Senate Go First
by Josh Orton, Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 07:17:55 AM EST
House "moderates" want political shelter:
Blue Dog Dems have told House leader Steny Hoyer that they don't want a vote on Employee Free Choice before the Senate because they fear they'll end up having to vote for two different versions of the measure, compounding the political damage they may face in moderate districts, the aide says.
"Their concern is that the House will pass something, then the Senate will take up the bill and do something different," the senior leadership aide tells me. "The Blue Dogs don't want to end up voting on something that won't even become law. They're saying, `See what can get through the Senate first, and then we'll vote on it.'"
Reportedly, the Dem leadership in the House agreed.
Seems Employee Free Choice Act will come soon, since Blue Dogs are already ducking for cover. So that's good.
But doesn't this move strip labor of leverage with fence-sitters in the Senate? Shouldn't we avoid ceding more agenda-setting power to Snowe and Specter?
A good reminder that getting 60 Dems in the Senate wasn't an arbitrary goal. Wouldn't it be nice if every legislative issue didn't hinge on the whims of one or two Republicans?
Update [2009-2-18 12:42:59 by Josh Orton]: More succinctly: this move sacrifices progressive negotiation with Senate moderates. Rather than force them to decide which House-passed provisions to oppose, Blue Dogs want Senate moderates to preemptively shot-call.