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Greg Webb
Greg Webb
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Big Business Prepares For A Fight In Washington

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With President-elect Barack Obama’s victory and the legislative gains by other Democrats, big business now has to go on the defensive. Corporate America faired well under the Bush Administration’s eight-year term and under the reign of the Republican controlled Congress from 1995 to 2007. Now, however, labor unions may become stronger and businesses are preparing for greater financial regulation, worker friendly policies and an emphasis on social spending. Members of such groups as the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent a lot of money trying to defeat the Democrats in congressional races; instead the Democrats expanded their numbers in both chambers adding at least five Senate seats and eighteen new members to the House of Representatives.

Business lobbies, however, are taking solace in the fact that the Democrats failed to reach their sixty-vote margin, which would cut off filibusters and force votes in controversial legislation. This “numbers game” is especially important since unions have their sights set on the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow organizers to collect signatures from a majority of workers to form a union. With a president in office that would not veto the legislation, a Democrat majority in the Senate, and the Republicans in disarray, supporters of the bill claim it’s a new ballgame. On the other hand, many argue this is not the time to be passing such a bill since the economy needs big business and say Obama will not let an activist agenda get in the way of making the economy grow. “It’s the economy, the economy, and the economy,” a leading Chamber official stated. "Obama is a smart guy and he knows his policies depend on the economy growing."