Representative Donna Edwards, in a live chat on FireDogLake, talked about the Employee Free Choice Act. Edwards is the most progressive member of Congress and a strong advocate for working Americans. Her case for Employee Free Choice was clear, as was her perspective on the opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act.
I know everyone has seen all the ads — slick, aggressive and a pack of untruths. The opposition claims that somehow workers won’t be able to choose a secret ballot — as though somehow a secret ballot with your employer standing over your shoulder makes the election legitimate. The Employee Free Choice Act is about workers choosing how they want to organize, either by signing up or casting a ballot — either way, it would be the workers’ choice and not the boss’.
While this series has focused on the merits of the Employee Free Choice Act, I think this political point from Rep. Edwards bears repeating.
We have problems on the Senate side on a lot of things. It’s time to call the bluff on the filibuster so we can pass important legislation with the majority we have. As long as we are held by the grips of fewer than a handful of quixotic Senators, it will be even tougher to get measures out of the House.
This is key. It’s clear that the debate on the Employee Free Choice Act is being waged on the margins with about 10 senators and no one else. These senators are only important because of the Republican use of the filibuster to stop proceding to debate on the Act in the Senate. As a result, a few swing votes are shaping the course of this critical election, when a clear majority supports the Act. Unless there’s a way around the Republican filibuster, it’s likely that working Americans will be handed a watered-down bill that doesn’t give them the rights and protections they need and deserve.