The Democrats’ slim majority in the Iowa House was not enough to hold together debate on a controversial pro-union bill Thursday night. The bill would let unions representing government workers collect a fee from non-union workers for certain services. House Speaker Pat Murphy, a Democrat from Dubuque, says the debate had to be scuttled.
Murphy says: "We thought we had the votes. We checked to see if we could pick up an extra vote. We couldn’t, so we made the decision to adjourn ’cause we’re not 51-strong. We’ll probably take up this bill in two weeks." Democrats hold a three-seat majority in the House, but one member is serving in Iraq and another is on maternity leave.
Murphy says another Democrat was having chest pains last night, so they gave up on the measure. Murphy says "We don’t have a large majority. We have a three-seat majority and so, you lose three people, it puts your majority at risk."
House Democratic leader Kevin McCarthy, of Des Moines, says they’ll bring the measure up again, soon. McCarthy says "Of the people here, there was not the votes to do it. That’s not to say once we get our ducks in order and have a full team here, we’ll be able to do what we need to do." Republicans believe House Democrats may –never– have enough votes to pass the so-called "fair share" bill, which was approved by the Senate last week.