Katie Gage

As if Big Labor hasn’t already squeezed enough out of Congress with payoffs upon payoffs, they are now positioning themselves for one last-ditch effort to achieve the mother of all gifts, the job-killing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA).

One of the biggest impediments to economic recovery is the uneasy feeling small businesses and employers are sensing across the country. Over the past 18 months, President Obama and some Members of Congress have injected a large measure of uncertainty into the economy through the introduction of controversial new laws, contentious administration appointments and deeply disturbing Executive Orders favoring political donors like the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), among others.

Unfortunately, a measure of stability that our economy should finally be able to count on remains elusive, even as the sun beings to set on the 111

th Congress. Instead of finally being able to breathe a sigh of relief that EFCA – the most radical change to labor law in generations, possibly in history – will not come about, we’re forced to brace for what could be one of the most brazen free-for-all lame duck sessions in recent memory.

Lame duck sessions occur after an election has taken place and they usually focus on specific, bipartisan, non-controversial pieces of legislation that were not able to receive sufficient consideration during the regularly scheduled session.

Instead, union boss advocates like Senator Tom Harkin appear to be planning a strategy to ignore the will of the people at the ballot box and attempt to reward their political benefactors in a lame duck session with a bailout for Big Labor bosses at the expense of small businesses and jobs.

Harkin, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) stated, “To those who think [EFCA’s] dead, I say think again … We’re still trying to maneuver … A lot of things can happen in a lame duck session, too.” In spite of a series of questionable comments on Harkin’s part in recent months, his threats have to be taken seriously as he is the chairman of the corresponding committee and in close communication with his national union boss buddies.

But Harkin should proceed with great caution as he will be putting senators up for re-election in 2012 in a precarious position. The reality is that EFCA is incredibly unpopular across the country and candidates who have decided to stand with labor bosses over workers have run and lost. One needs to look no further than Bill Halter to understand the fate that will befall candidates ignoring the will of the people.


Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.