Controversial "card check" legislation will hopefully make its way through the Senate this fall, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said Tuesday.

Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that he is pushing to bring up the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) for a vote this fall.

"I'm pushing for it," Harkin told the liberal Bill Press Radio Show. "I think it's something that we have to do."

Along with his bold assertion that he has the votes to pass a health bill including a public option in the Senate, Harkin's claims about EFCA's prospects in the Senate come after months in which some centrist Democrats have been reluctant to sign onto the union organizing bill.

The optimism may be rooted in negotiations on a compromise bill that has been crafted to win over centrist Democrats like Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who said he will support the latest iteration of the bill, which he'd previously opposed before switching parties to pursue reelection as a Democrat.

Those negotiations, along with the inclusion of interim Sen. Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), had Harkin hoping that Democrats will have the 60 votes necessary to get past a filibuster on the "card check" bill.

"Hopefully we're going to get the bill through sometime this fall, now that we hopefully have the 60 votes," he said.