With the help of Senate Democrats, Congress took its final step Monday toward enactment of long-term FAA reauthorization legislation, despite an aggressive last-minute effort by organized labor to kill the package.
The final vote was 75-20, with — not nearly enough Democratic opposition to prevent a supermajority from passing it and sending it off to President Obama for a signature.
Further background here. Democrats and Republicans have been tussling over this bill for a year now, with the key flashpoint being language aimed at preventing transportation workers from forming unions. In the end, Democratic leaders agreed with Republicans on a new measure that largely accomplishes the same anti-union goals — and labor officials are steamed.
It’s unclear how steep the political ramifications will be for Democrats who supported the final package — including President Obama. But unions will continue to make the point that this is not the year to undermine their priorities if, as an incumbent, you want to rely on union organizing power.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.