Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, encouraged folks to "keep fighting!" after her side lost the labor dispute that will now give union members the right-to-work.
"This is not the end of our work!," Stabenow wrote in a Facebook post. "The fight for the future of our middle-class families is more important than ever. Thank you to all of the people who came out today to make your voices heard – keep speaking out and keep fighting!"
Stabenow has openly expressed her opposition to the reforms. “Right now under collective bargaining agreements, whether you join the union or not, if you benefit from collective bargaining, you contribute,” Stabenow told Roll Call. “This would say you could benefit, but you wouldn’t have to contribute, so this is all about undercutting labor [and] the resources that they have.”
The Michigan senator also said, “This is the most blatant partisan power grab that we have seen in Michigan in a long time. ... “In a world where the Supreme Court has said that corporations can give unlimited secret money, and then on the other side you have workers who contribute through their unions ... this is another power grab by the Republican party.”
While the GOP presidential primary race has captured most of the media attention, Republicans are also gearing up for the 33 Senate seats on the ballot next year. Democrats currently hold 23 of those seats, and Republicans will need a net win of at least 4 seats to gain control of the Senate. A couple GOP candidates in important races have, or will soon be, announcing runs soon.
Commentators who are convinced the Obama health bill still stands a chance of becoming law won't like Susan Ferrechio's Washington Examiner report on yesterday's Senate Democratic caucus meeting. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said health care didn't even come up; "There was a lot of discussion obviously on jobs and what's happening with that."
The only hope for supporters of the bill is that the House will somehow miraculously pass the Senate legislation, leaving the Senate to pass "fixes" through the reconciliation process, which requires only a majority vote. But House passage requires 218 votes -- votes Nancy Pelosi does not have. And is it really likely she'll get them as the midterm election approaches?
John Kerry has the answer: "I don't know if that is achievable," he said yesterday. "I guess I feel the imperatives of doing nothing are very powerful and therefore I'm hopeful that in the end, common sense is going to win out. But I don't want to put odds on it. This is Washington."