Sen. Claire McCaskill said Sunday she was unsure whether she and her fellow Democrats had the votes needed to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, during an appearing on ABC's "This Week."
Asked to convince her co-panelist Tom Donohue, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to get on board the legislation -- which the business community regards as something between the demise of civilization and Armageddon itself -- McCaskill said she had no such illusions about her powers of persuasions. She also offered a dire take on EFCA's chances.
"I'm not sure if we have the votes and I have no hope of backing Mr. Donohue off," said the Missouri Democrat. "I would say that I think it would be fair that we have a secret ballot for the decertification of unions. Right now, businesses can go with the card check. There is no secret ballot to get rid of a union. But there is a requirement of that for people to be able to organize. And to me that seems unfair. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Let's get people on a level playing field ... Until they do that I'm not sure they have a lot of room to complain."
Donohue, as expected, remained unconvinced, responding that "the loss of the secret ballot and the 16 other issues that labor unions want is another weight on this economy."
Union officials have insisted over the past few weeks that they have the 60 votes in the Senate needed to cut off debate on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow more and easier venues for unions to organize. The Huffington Post reported a week ago that there was angst among Democrats about their caucus being 100 percent on board. But officials in the labor community say they're unconcerned, even suggesting that they have more than one Republican willing to cross the aisle.