As health care gets bogged down in the legislative process, it is also sucking up so much oxygen on Capitol Hill, that it’s making it harder for Democrats to push other aspects of their agenda. And today, Congress Daily reports:
Senate efforts to compromise on a watered-down version of the Employee Free Choice Act have been put firmly on the chamber’s back burner — perhaps for the rest of the year — as senators, aides and lobbyists focus on health care and other legislation, participants said.
“We’re not doing anything right now,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said of talks he has led among a group of Democrats since it became clear in late March that a more ambitious “card check” bill to help unions organize could not win 60 Senate votes.
“We’ve got the healthcare bill; we’ve got appropriations bills, and we’re lacking two senators that we need right now,” Harkin said in an interview. “Nothing is happening on that right now.”
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