Business lobbyists look to next Congress

Oct. 8, 2008 at 2:44 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Business groups are trying to limit labor-friendly legislation the Democratic congressional majority considers, one business political affairs leader says.

In doing so, business lobbyists may be conceding the battle to stop Democrats from increasing their numbers, Bill Miller, U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of political affairs, told The Hill.

"Any objective person that's looking at the makeup of the Senate and House races today would undoubtedly conclude the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate will expand," Miller said.

But he and other lobbyists said the Chamber's grassroots operation can impact how the 111th Congress legislates.

"Whoever comes to the 111th Congress should know that a lot of people who voted (for) Republicans in 2004 and Democrats in 2006 don't want a partisan food fight, they want a government that works," said Greg Casey, president and chief executive of Business Industry Political Action Committee.

Labor's whale is passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for union shops to organize by bypassing secret-ballot elections, the Washington publication said.

Bill Samuel, AFL-CIO legislative director, said labor will also try to expand health insurance, promote paid leave for family or medical reasons, seek stronger regulation of Wall Street investment firms and stricter workplace standards enforcement.

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