Union boss threatens Dem with primary over healthcare vote

Union leaders are threatening Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) with a primary challenge because he voted against the Democrats' healthcare bill.

Allegheny County Labor Council President Jack Shea told reporters that union members felt misled by the two-term Democrat.

"He didn't keep his word," Shea told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm not the only one that he committed to. He told [Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President] Bill George the same thing. ... What he said very plainly was, at the end, the final bill, he would be there."

More from the Post-Gazette:

Describing Mr. Shea as "a friend," Mr. Altmire said, "The conversation that he is referring to took place in November," after Mr. Altmire's initial vote against the House version of the health care legislation.

"At that time I said, 'Look, I'm going to keep at this. I have every expectation that we're going get to something that I can vote for' we didn't get to a place were I could do that.

"I feel terrible that I've let my friends down; these are my friends," he said. "The fact that they are upset with me is not something I take lightly, but my vote can't be a political payback because someone supported me."

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