'Blue Dogs' Stave Off EFCA For Now

Greg Sargent is reporting that a coalition of conservative Democrats, the so-called “Blue Dogs,” have joined to ask Speaker Pelosi not to bring the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to the floor.

The Blue Dogs have asked Pelosi not to consider the bill until the Senate has first voted on it. As far as the Senate goes, Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he won’t bring it up for vote unless he knows he has 60 votes and that number doesn’t seem very likely at this time.

Moderate Democrats from more conservative districts are afraid that if the House takes up the bill first, two divergent versions of the bill will exist between the House and the Senate and that this confusion will give opponents of the EFCA enough ammo to hurt the reelection chances of the moderates.

“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.’”

House Dem leaders agree with this assessment, the aide says. Asked if it would anger labor leaders, the aide said that labor might not like it but that labor leaders would “understand the dynamic.”

In any case, if Pelosi heeds this warning from moderate Democrats, we may see the EFCA stymied for a while unable to go forward. Opponents of this bill need to keep the pressure up on Democrat representatives in right to work states. It is obviously having an effect so far.