I think card check is dead, one respected Democratic lobbyist said. There will be no 60th vote unless they change some of the substance of it.
But labor officials plan to try to win with the bill that they have now, launching a two-week recess grass-roots drive that will target Senators like Specter, Collins and Snowe, as well as some Democrats whom union officials feel need a refresher course in labor activism in order to stay with the bill.
With business officials certain to be blanketing the Hill, Obamas job will be to keep Democrats in line when the lobbying begins.
White House support for the measure becomes even more critical with the likelihood that Democratic House leaders will not put the measure to a vote until they see how it plays in the Senate.
A lot of House Members do not want to vote on this if its not going to happen, another top Democratic lobbyist said. If youre from a moderate or a conservative district, youll vote for it if it comes up, but youre not eager to do it.
Backers hope Obama can provide the lift that a strong House victory might have given the legislation.