I worked on Capitol Hill for 10 years, and this is the first time I've heard anyone make this claim:
In turn, Melancon, a co-sponsor of EFCA, is seeking to change the bill. An aide to Melancon said the lawmaker is working on a “bipartisan solution” that would bring labor and business together...
Melancon is an EFCA co-sponsor, but said he was working on making changes to the bill after being asked by local business leaders last week to drop his sponsorship.
Attendees said the congressman defended his position at a meeting in his congressional district hosted by the St. Mary Industrial Group, but added he was working to amend the bill.
“His deal is ‘I am on this bill to make it better, trying to make a bad bill better,’?” said Bob Miller, president of the St. Mary Industrial Group. “I doubt it seriously if anyone in the room believed it...”
An aide to Melancon said the Blue Dog Democrat stuck by the bill at the business leader meeting and did not distance himself from it.
“To clarify what he said, Congressman Melancon understands many of the concerns expressed by the business owners at the meeting,” said Robin Winchell, a spokeswoman for Melancon.
“He is interested in bringing both sides together to work out their differences. As a co-sponsor, he is working on a bipartisan solution that will address some of these concerns, while still protecting employees’ rights.”
So is Melancon in favor of Card Check, or opposed? There is no magical, unicorn-inspired compromise that makes both sides happy. And the claim that he cosponsored the bill to get in better position to change it is laughable. If a Member of Congress wants to force changes to a bill, he (or she) withholds sponsorship until it's amended. Shocking, huh?
Melancon is experiencing one of the problems of having power in Washington - you cannot be all things to all people. He is clearly trying to send one message to labor unions and another to businesses. In much the same way, he pretends to be an independent and conservative voice when he talks to voters, but in reality he votes with Nancy Pelosi and House Democrat leaders nearly 90 percent of the time.
Further, would Louisiana companies really be any happier if he does oppose the union organizing provisions of 'Card Check?' It still means he supports allowing Washington bureaucrats to impose collective bargaining agreements on companies that don't bow to union demands. And there's no version of Melancon's malleable position in which he opposes that - at least so far.
And to think: Melancon is the Democrats' best hope against Senator David Vitter next year.