Colorado’s Michael Bennet – who faces the voters for the first time next year – had a rough meeting with ‘progressives’ in Colorado. It sounds as if he thinks that his re-election chances suffer if he supports the Obama agenda. In particular, he doesn’t like Card Check:
Bennet has been one of the few Senate Democrats who have declined to take a stand on the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill favored by organized labor that would make it easier to unionize worksites.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., announced Monday that she would oppose the bill, making it all but certain that the bill in its current form can’t muster the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster by opponents.
“We’re going to have to see whether or not there’s a consensus that can be reached that makes it something that can be passed because right now there isn’t something that can be passed,” Bennet told the group at New Belgium.
He won’t earn himself any fans on the Left either, if he continues to link Card Check to Obamacare:
He said he’s concerned by the hard feelings that are developing on the issue, among organized labor on one side and small-business owners on the other. He said those groups can be allies on many issues, particularly health-care reform, and can’t let the EFCA debate splinter relationships.
“Temperatures are running high on both sides of this. We need to make sure that no matter how this turns out … that we’ve got all hands on deck working on health-care reform because this is the year to get that done,” he said.
Is Bennet looking to bail on health care, or is he looking to blackmail Harry Reid to kill Card Check? His message seems to be that if Card Check advances, health care reform takes a serious hit. If other Democrats begin to frame Card Check and Obamacare as some sort of either/or proposition, Big Labor will find a spot reserved under the bus.