Although not making nearly the news it used to, the debate over EFCA continues to swirl. Over the last couple of weeks, some interesting tidbits have surfaced.
First, talk of a "lame duck" effort to pass EFCA continues. Columnist Charles Krauthammer, in a column entitled "Beware the Lame Duck" in The Washington Post, is one of the more recent commentators to identify this as a possibility. He also discusses other legislative efforts that could be made after the November 2010 mid-term elections.
Second, opponents continue to marshal their statistical evidence against EFCA. A good example is a recent article from the American Enterprise Institute. The author concludes that EFCA would cost 4.5 million jobs and decrease GDP by $500 billion.
Third, EFCA continues to be an issue in U.S. Senate campaigns around the country. In West Virginia, Democratic Governor Joe Manchin has announced he is running for the U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) held until his recent death. The press is reporting that Mr. Manchin hasn’t yet taken a formal position on EFCA, but has indicated through a spokesperson that he will "listen to both sides" on the issue. The issue also received a lot of attention in Arkansas, where unions are reported to have spent $10 million to defeat Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D.-Ark.) in the Democratic Party primary. Sen. Lincoln is one of the Senate Democrats opposed to EFCA. She won her primary election despite union spending against her.
Finally, unions have not given up the fight. That much should be clear from the substantial spending in Sen. Lincoln’s primary election.
All of this activity reminds us that EFCA isn’t dead yet. While conventional wisdom holds that it will be an uphill battle for it to pass, that doesn’t mean that it can’t pass.