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EFCA: If it’s too risky for an election year, isn’t it just plain too risky?

Previewing next year’s legislative calendar, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has informed her members that she will try to protect them during an election year by limiting the number of controversial bills brought to a vote. Perhaps the Speaker is referring to those big government policies that the American people have rejected – like a national energy tax, massive deficit spending, and a government takeover of health care.

There’s at least one bill we know made the cut as potentially too risky for Democrats trying to keep their jobs in an election year: the Employee Free Choice Act.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has privately told her politically vulnerable Democratic members that they will not vote on controversial bills in 2010 unless the Senate acts first…

Pelosi’s promise could dim the prospects for other White House priorities as well, including the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — known as “card check”…

“There’s not going to be a ton of stuff legislatively next year either way,” a House leadership aide said. “But on EFCA — even though the House has demonstrated its ability to pass it…the Senate is definitely going to have to act first.”

The House passed EFCA during the last Congress, but members who voted on that bill were well-aware it had no chance to be signed into law by President George W. Bush.

Jared Allen, “Speaker Pelosi to shield vulnerable members from controversial votes,” The Hill, 12.16.09

If EFCA is a bad idea for members of Congress trying to hold on to their jobs, it’s an even worse idea for workers trying to do the same. No wonder the only time Democrats can push it through is when they know it won’t become law.

But despite its risks, we should not count EFCA out just yet. With the special interest lobby knocking on doors in Washington, it remains unclear whether American workers will lose their right to a secret ballot in 2010.

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