Card Check: Special Report, Waning Support

By February 5, 2009Economy, Labor Unions

Interesting chat yesterday on FoxNews Special Report among Fox commentators: Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public Radio, and Mort Kondracke, executive editor of Roll Call.

The No. 1 topic, the Employee Free Choice Act.

FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, there was a reason for this rally today by the union people, and that’s because they have been losing ground. They need to make up for lost ground.

In the last congress, they had something like 230 cosponsors for the card check bill. This time they’re having trouble getting to 200 cosponsors in the House, even though there are more Democrats in the House than there were in the last congress.

And now you have five or six senators, most of them Democrats, who are now kind of queasy on it who weren’t before, and are talking about well, maybe there’s some alternative to it. So organized labor is trying to make up for lost ground.

There was a very interesting paper that was brought to my attention just the other day by a very, very prominent economist, who found that the higher rate of unionization is in a state — in other words, if the state has a fairly highly unionized state, the higher the unemployment rate.

The same thing happened during the New Deal, of course. It was great if you had a job, but a lot more people didn’t have jobs.

We’ll make a leap and assume Barnes is referring to “The Case Against the Employee Free Choice Act,” by University of Chicago Professor Richard Epstein. (Go here.)

The panel also talks about the difficulties Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) has encountered in being confirmed for Secretary of Labor. The Senate HELP Committee was supposed to vote her out at a 2 p.m. meeting, but the session has been proposed.

UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): Ah. That explains the rumors about more troubles. From USA Today, “Husband of Rep. Solis, Labor nominee, settles tax liens

Leave a Reply