Specter flip-flops again, backs labor bill

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Flipping yet again, Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday told labor leaders he will back the labor-friendly bill Democratic leaders want to bring up for a vote later this year.

“We have pounded out an employees’ choice bill which will meet labor’s objectives,” the Pennsylvania Republican-turned-Democratic lawmaker said, according to the Associated Press.

President Obama and Democratic leaders have been trying to come up with a bill to make it easier for unions to form and operate. The so-called “card-check” provision, which would allow unions to organize a work site if a majority of workers sign a public statement, appears still to be beyond Democrats’ reach, but requiring binding arbitration between unions and companies is still on the table.

Mr. Specter, who earlier this year became a Democrat after 24 years in office as a Republican, has been all over the map on the issue. As a Republican he voted for a similar bill in the last Congress, when the measure had little chance of passage, but he announced his opposition to the measure earlier this year.

Even as he switched parties to become a Democrat, he still said he would oppose the measure. But needing union support in his Democratic primary race against Rep. Joe Sestak, Mr. Specter now has flipped all the way back.

Mr. Specter is holding a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon with Mr. Obama as the star attraction. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican who helped Mr. Specter survive a brutal GOP primary in 2004, said his former ally is paying the president back.

“He has done a hard-left turn to try to get into the good graces of this president, and obviously he’s getting rewarded for that,” Mr. Santorum told reporters on a conference call arranged by the Republican National Committee.

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