Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter announced his opposition to a contentious bill to make union organizing easier called The Employee Free Choice Act Tuesday afternoon.
Labor interests supporting the bill to authorize workers to organize workplaces by way signing certification cards, which opponents call “card check,” have been heavily targeting Specter, a moderate Republican, for his vote. In order to pass the bill, it would need to muster 60 votes in the Senate to pass cloture and proceed to a final vote.
Specter, a moderate Republican who represents the pivotal state of Pennsylvnia, was considered a key vote in order to pass the bill.
In his floor speech, Specter said “the problem of the recession makes this a particularly bad time” to enact the bill and he was announcing his opposition to “end the rumor mill that I have made some deal for political advantage.”
In the run-up to Specter’s announcement, the AFL-CIO said it would back Specter’s re-election efforts if he supported the bill.
Specter’s Chief of Staff Scott Hoeflich alerted Americans for Tax Reform, a anti-tax advocacy group, earlier that afternoon that Specter would vote both against cloture and final passage for EFCA.
ATR’s President Grover Norquist told The Washington Times, “This is huge.”
“This ends card check for the year,” Norquist said. “Now we have to make sure the Democrats don’t pick up two or three Senate seats.”