Specter's Choice Saves Obama Labor Headache

GOP senator's threat to kill bill means Dems won't have to pick sides
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2009 10:20 AM CDT
Specter's Choice Saves Obama Labor Headache
Senators announce an agreement on President Obama's stimulus plan; Arlen Specter is at right.   (AP Photo)

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter’s choice to oppose a bill to ease unionization will let President Obama and congressional Democrats avoid a tough choice between labor and business interests, Politico notes. Obama had promised to sign the Employee Free Choice Act, but would have infuriated businesses whose support he needs. Dems “have to be very pleased,” a business insider says.

Interest groups on both sides are sounding off about Specter’s pivotal choice. Conservative Grover Norquist rejoices, “This is like Christmas and Easter and Valentine’s Day rolled up into one.” But the head of the AFL-CIO calls the announcement “a rebuke to working people.” And likely Pennsylvania primary challenger Pat Toomey warns to expect a reverse-flip “if he thinks his political fortunes have improved.” (More Arlen Specter stories.)

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