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Another Dagger to ‘Card Check’

Less than two weeks after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) became the first Senate Democrat to announce her opposition to the labor-friendly Employee Free Choice Act, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) is threatening to withhold his support as well, Greg Sargent reported this afternoon.

“He doesn’t believe this is the appropriate time to introduce this legislation or to be debating it,” Webb spokesperson Jessica Smith confirms to me. “He’s always been a strong supporter of the right to collective bargaining, but as written, he would look towards improving the legislation in a way to make it more fair and equitable.”

As Sargent explains, Webb’s decision could be the dagger that slays the legislation, which would make it easier for workers to organize into unions.

That could be a big deal, because the initial “cloture” vote to allow the bill to be debated, thus overcoming the GOP’s filibuster, is the one that requires 60 votes in the Senate. Labor, obviously, can ill afford to lose another Dem like Webb, particularly with another reliable backer, Senator Dianne Feinstein [D-Calif.], also refusing to say whether she’ll back it.

So fear not, corporate America, if you thought that the labor movement, behind President Obama, would have its way in Washington this year. You were forgetting the power of the Senate filibuster.

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