Card check update

The union-backed mandatory card-check organizing bill, misleadingly dubbed the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), is likely to come up for a vote today — and fail, thanks to a likely Republican filibuster. But, as I noted last week, “even if it goes down to defeat this time, expect it to come back in future Congresses — especially if in 2008 the Democrats gain the White House, seats in the Senate, or both.”Inded, today, Investor’s Business Daily reports:

The cloture vote may fail, but that’s just a first step to getting the idea on the public agenda and making it seem more mainstream, Borosage said. Like campaign finance reform or welfare reform, it’s a multiyear effort…

“We’re a while away from it, but if you get a Democratic president and Democratic majorities (in Congress) this will be on the lead agenda,” [union-backed activist group Campaign for America’s Future head Robert] Borosage said. And that could happen in 2009.

That may be the one thing Rick Berman, executive director of the Center for Union Facts, a business-backed group leading the fight against card check, agrees with Borosage on.

“The unions never expected to win,” Berman said. “This is a test vote to see how many Republicans they can get to come over.”

Next is locking in those votes and focusing on turning the senators that didn’t back them, Berman said.

This battle isn’t over by a long shot. Look here for later updates on this opening volley.