Specter Switches Free Choice Stance

In a surprise announcement, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) stated on the Senate floor that he will not support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) this Congress. Specter was a co-sponsor of the bill in previous sessions and the only Senate Republican vote for it in the 110th Congress. Specter said the bill would further damage the economy during the current recession, but he might reconsider the bill, “when the economy returns to normalcy.” Specter’s opposition is a significant blow to the bill this Congress. No other Republican Senators are expected to support EFCA, preventing Democrats from achieving the necessary 60 votes to ensure a filibuster-proof passage of the bill.

However, it is not the end of the EFCA battle. Union leaders vow to continue pushing for EFCA. Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern firmly stated, “We will not stop in our efforts to achieve it.”

Senate Republicans continue to oppose the bill, and held a Republican Policy Committee hearing to examine theeconomic impact and harassment issues associated with the legislation.