Will Labor Try To Primary Senate Democrats?

It appears they are thinking about it: National Journal's James A. Barnes reports in the magazine's next issue that labor leaders in the AFL-CIO discussed the possibility at their executive committee meeting in Washington on Jan. 25, and that the Service Employees International Union may be open to the idea, too, having voiced frustrations at its board meeting last week over Democrats' lack of progress on labor's agenda.

Targets, Barnes reports, could include Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), who is up for reelection in 2010, as well as Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Joe Lieberman (CT).

The labor movement cares primarily about the Employee Free Choice Act (legislation that would make it easier to organizer workers into unions) and health care (having struck a deal with the White House to modify the terms of the Senate bill's "Cadillac tax," which labor opposes); another priority, stopping free trade agreements, may have taken a hit last night when Obama extolled free trade in his State of the Union speech last night; immigration reform, which is a priority in some segments of the labor movement, is expected to begin in Congress sometime over the next year or so.

See Barnes's full story here (subscription required).