The SEIU is so much more than just the union partner of ACORN. They are among the President’s top advisers. When the White House released its first “visitors list” the most frequent visitor was the head of the ACORN affiliated Union the SEIU Andrew Stern who showed up on the visitors roster twenty times.
The SEIU is closely tied to the Democratic Party. In fact, the union spent much of the summer acting as the President’s personal thugs. When they began the congressional town halls were loud but they were never violent, that is until the SEIU got involved. but once the Democrats began urge the SEIU to confront the opponents of Obamacare, that all changed. It started with the indecent in Saint Louis, where Kenneth Gladney was attacked by members of the SEIU. Then there was the rally in Thousand Oaks California were we learned never say bite me to an Obama thug as a 65 year old man had his finger bitten off.
But now the President’s “purple shirts” are not happy that Congress seems to be retreating from the Healthcare battle. Andy Stern has threatened the party if Obamacare doesn’t happen, the Union may spend the 2010 mid-term elections sitting on their hands.
It’s gonna be incredibly difficult to stay focused on national politics if by the end of 2010 we have minimal health care and minimal changes on what’s important to our members,” he said in an interview with liberal blogger Greg Sargent.
Stern said the House Democrats’ apparent new plan as “fear masquerading as a strategy.”
Democrats have struggled to find a new way to pass healthcare reform since voters in Massachusetts picked Scott Brown (R) to be their next senator on Tuesday. Once Brown is seated, he will break the Democrats’ 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority.
Stern and Senate Democrats favor passing the Senate bill through the House while the Senate would make fixes to the bill using budget reconciliation procedures.
House Democratic leaders, though, have backed away from the plan because members of the rank-and-file have said they are unable to support it. Many appear to favor passing a number of popular reforms one-by-one.
The disagreement between House and Senate Democrats have left lawmakers at an impasse on the legislation.
Stern countered that “If something significant doesn’t happen in Congress, I hope the legislators appreciate that there are 37 governors races important to our members.”
Before Brown’s election, Stern and other labor leaders previously struck a deal with lawmakers to lessen the impact of the excise tax on high-cost healthcare plans contained in the Senate bill.
Stern urged that Congress to pass the Senate bill with the excise tax fix.
“For the 31 million people who don’t have health care, for the 14,000 who lose it every day, for the 120 people who die every day, they elected this Congress to make change, not to set their sights lower when the going gets tough,” he said.
A cynic might suggest that with the threat, Andy Stern is just doing President Obama’s bidding. Allowing the POTUS to publicly back away from Obamacare, while Stern keeps the pressure on Congress to take care of the progressive business.