Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) one of President Barack Obamas top allies in the Senate acknowledged Sunday on ABCs This Week that the card check labor bill may not have the 60 votes needed to get out of the Senate.Im not sure we have the votes to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, McCaskill said Sunday.The bill, which would make it easier to organize unions, is one of the more controversial pieces of legislation that the administration is expected to take up early on this year.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and other business interests have spent millions of lobbying and advertising dollars to oppose the bill.McCaskill also sought to defend the fact that she and Obama support a massive omnibus spending bill that includes thousands of earmarks despite their shared opposition to the practice.Ive voted to remove earmarks any chance I can, so long as its stripping out all of them, she said.Last week, McCaskill voted against an amendment to the omnibus spending bill that would have eliminated 13 provisions associated with the lobbying firm PMA Group, which is believed to be under a federal investigation for possible campaign finance violations.Meanwhile, Republicans continued to abandon efforts to at least appear as if they are aligned with the new administration, with House and Senate Republicans leveling harsh criticism against Obamas economic policies.Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) argued that the administration has failed to make difficult choices on a number of issues and that the White House must allow some of the banks hit by the financial crisis to fail.I dont think theyve made the tough decisions. Youve got to let some of these banks fail, he said.Likewise, McCain said that despite his popularity, Obama has taken the wrong track on the budget. I think hes working hard. I think he still has the support of the majority of voters. [But] I think hes made a very serious mistake with this budget.Appearing on Face the Nation, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also sought to tie the continuing collapse of the stock market to Obamas actions as president.When you look at whats happened on Wall Street the last six weeks, the reason the market continues to go down is because many people on Wall Street dont think the policies of the president will work, he said. At the end of the day I think we needed to do a stimulus bill, but Ive got concerns that all it will do is grow the size of government and put a lot of debt on our kids and really wont stimulate the economy, and I think Wall Street is saying the same thing.
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.