By Elaine Magliaro
The Senate voted today to advance President Obama’s trade agenda “by ending debate on a bill that would grant him the power to fast-track massive new pacts through Congress.” Michael McAuliff (Huffington Post) reported that some of the senators objected to the process, “complaining that they were unable to get votes on amendments they deemed essential to making sure that looming, still-secret deals with 12 Pacific Rim nations and Europe live up to promises of helping U.S. workers.”
Sixty-two senators, however, disagreed and “voted to halt debate anyway, setting up passage of the fast-track bill by the end of the week.” I should make note of the thirteen Democrats who are helping to rush “fast track” through the Senate—the “world’s greatest deliberative body.”
These are the 13 “Democratic” Senators who voted to rush the TPA bill: Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Chris Coons (Del.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Mark Warner (Va.), and Ron Wyden (Ore.).
SOURCES & FURTHER READING
Senate Advances Fast-Track For Obama Trade Deals (Huffington Post)
These 13 Democrats Are Helping Rush Fast Track Through The Senate (Campaign for America’s Future)
Disgusting support of fascist legislation!
On one hand, Feinstien never met a corporation she didn’t like much like the rest of her corporatist brethren.
On the other hand, they’ll all look good in brown.
The TPP is revolting legislation.
Double entendre intended.
Good to make note of these semi-republican idiots. My Senator choose the higher ground.
Senate Debate Reveals Absurd Level Of Trade Deal Secrecy
WASHINGTON — A revealing conversation on the Senate floor Thursday showed precisely how secretive President Barack Obama’s pending trade deals are, and the absurdity of arguments to the contrary.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sponsored a bill that would have required the administration to post a “scrubbed” copy of the trade deals well before Congress gives the president fast-track authority to jam them easily through Congress.
However, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) objected to bringing the bill forward. In response, Manchin and Warren made a few telling observations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the vast trade agreement the U.S. is currently negotiating with 11 other nations.
The pair noted that although legislators are allowed to look at the text of the TPP in a secure room, they are only allowed to do so under restrictions that make it nearly impossible to understand what they are reading.
First, they can’t bring expert staffers with them unless they have the right clearances, and the aides who have expertise in various relevant areas — for instance on the impacts on the environment or labor law — generally are not cleared.
Second, lawmakers can’t record anything, or take any notes from the room.
“They’ll give you a piece of paper if you want to take notes, but then you have to give them back the piece of paper,” Warren said.
The legislators can’t talk to anyone about what they’ve read, either.
“We are unable to take any notes or consider what we just saw unless we have a photographic memory and, unfortunately, I do not,” Manchin said. “I’ve tried to remember and look at things I knew I was looking for, but still it’s almost impossible to walk out of there having the ability to sit down and evaluate what you just saw.”
“I taught the uniform commercial code and the bankruptcy code. I am not afraid of hollow, technical language. But you’ve got to be able to dig into it, you’ve got to be able to spend time and figure out the cross-references and the terms of art,” Warren said. “It’s difficult, thick stuff to read, and it’s set up to minimize your capacity to track all the pieces about what’s happening.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, found the process so frustrating that he quipped recently, “Sometimes I feel — and I only say this half-jokingly — like we have more access to the Iran negotiations.”
What in the hell is Obama trying so hard to hide? Why is he so afraid of his own countrymen reading and understanding what he has negotiated with foreign countries? This is sounding more and more like some sort of huge criminal enterprise.
Gotta build up that 401k. Not everyone can paint their way through retirement.
based on Obama’s temperament and his enmity for individual rights, I would say America and Americans are in for a Ned Beatty.
Can you say squeal like a pig?
Wrong movie, B.
Well . . . maybe not.
Obama Takes Unexpected Setback On Trade Agenda As Fast Track Passes Senate
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s trade agenda suffered a setback Friday evening during a series of last-minute maneuvers in the Senate. While the upper chamber eventually passed a bill that would help Obama streamline a trade pact with 11 Pacific nations, the final product threw a wrench into the president’s plans.
The Senate approved a bill to “fast-track” trade agreements negotiated by the president. The agreement will prevent Congress from amending or filibustering Obama’s controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The TPP deal would have a hard time surviving without fast-track authority.
But a key crackdown on human trafficking survived the legislative jujitsu. The White House considers the provision a deal-breaker, as it would force one of the nations involved in the TPP talks — Malaysia — out of the agreement. An immigration-related amendment authored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) never got a vote, making it far more difficult for Obama to win over skeptical tea party Republicans in the House.
The slavery provision’s survival means that the House will either need to amend the bill and send it back to the Senate, which would cause a delay and complicate the House debate, or pass a bill and go to conference with the Senate, also causing a delay. It also potentially could be fixed in separate legislation otherwise moving through Congress.
Shameful, yet typical from these lazy bastards. Another reason why I prefer to read about food instead of politics. There has been a surge in economic and politic science studies which show that the impact of “normal” voter/citizen on the politics is extremely small in comparison with big interest groups and corporations. Lest we forget that those 13 also need to be reelected. The easiest way to obtain financial support is through expressing their loyalty.
“based on Obama’s temperament and his enmity for individual rights, I would say America and Americans are in for a Ned Beatty.”
Seriously? It’s all Obama’s fault? How quickly you forget George W. Bush and Homeland Security. And by the way since when did you become an advocate for worker’s rights, or unions?
“There has been a surge in economic and politic science studies which show that the impact of “normal” voter/citizen on the politics is extremely small in comparison with big interest groups and corporations.”
The sad descriptive word for this is oligarchy.