Business opponents argue it would effectively end the secret ballot for unionizing a workplace and allow union officials to intimidate workers into signing up, resulting in higher costs and fewer jobs overall. Opponents complain that once a union is ratified, it would impose onerous new rules forcing quick contract negotiations.
But unions and their Democratic backers say that intimidation by employers is a key reason why unions only represent about 7 percent of the work force.
Harkin said hes confident Democrats will ultimately climb on board.
I dont note any erosion in support for the basic premise, Harkin said. I think the votes are there.
Harkin acknowledged changes to the bill may be necessary to win support.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the House would wait for the Senate to act, noting that the House already passed card check in the previous Congress.
House support for the legislation is not in question. Miller said he has 223 co-sponsors for his bill, including three Republicans more than enough to pass the bill.
But some conservative House Democrats have sought to avoid taking another vote on the issue one guaranteed to be scored by major business groups as an anti-business vote unless the Senate acts.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.