Fast Track Bill Back On The… Fast Track After Senate Deal

from the trade-deal-moves-forward dept

This isn’t a huge surprise, but after getting rejected on Tuesday, Senators went back into deal-making mode. And, after passing a bill to crack down on currency manipulation, enough Senators who voted no earlier in the week now voted yes to move the fast track (“trade promotion authority”) bill forward to a floor debate. That debate should happen next week, and apparently there will be some attempts to add some amendments to improve the fast track bill, though it’s unclear if any of those have a legitimate chance of getting in. In short, chances are the fast track bill will pass the Senate next week, meaning that the real question is whether there are enough votes in the House.

The whole thing still seems quite bizarre. You have House and Senate Republicans (the party that regularly insists that it believes in the Constitution as originally written) voting to give up their Constitutional authority to oversee international commercial under the Commerce Clause, and hand it to a President in the opposing party. And, yes, this is the same President that Congressional Republicans are trying to block on almost every other move, and whom they often insist ignores Congressional powers under the Constitution to use powers not granted to the Executive branch under the Constitution. Why would they do that? And, at the same time, most in the President’s own party are against doing this.

Again, while I know that many who are opposing the TPP and TTIP are just against trade deals in general, I am generally in favor of good free trade deals. It’s just that the TPP is not that. It’s barely even a “trade” deal at all. And thus, it’s quite bizarre to see the politics of how this has all played out.

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Comments on “Fast Track Bill Back On The… Fast Track After Senate Deal”

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Peter (profile) says:

Yes, exactly..

I so much agree with you that it really does not make logical sense… I hate to say it, but I think at least the senate is just plain blind or else worse — it’s either they’re completely oblivious to their obligation to uphold the constitution, or their even worse, thinking that it’s fine if they do well, and forget about the working people. Either way, it’s a crime.

Anonymous Coward says:

gotta get Obama?

There are times I see these people do things that seem so out of touch with reality and so vindictively conniving that I wonder if this isn’t one of those – “if we do this and then Obama pushes thru a bad trade bill we can blame him and rake in money from the businesses who benefit because people will never look back and say – wait you were the gatekeepers why did you let this happen?” Sad thing is that they are right. We rarely blame the house or senate in ten years – we blame the administration of that time.

ambrellite (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Technically, they don’t give up their authority by giving the president FTA–they just choose to legislate in the most half-assed way imaginable. That’s their prerogative, even if it betrays the fact that they simply don’t care what’s in the TPP. Huge, multinational corporations can reward them immediately, while their constituents won’t realize they’ve been screwed until years later, by which time the consequences can be blamed on the next president and the opposing party. At worst, all they’d have to say is, “Knowing then what we know now, I would have voted differently.”

The worst thing is that there are some representatives who loathe this kind of politics, and feel forced to participate in order to compete against their opposition. The whirlpool of corruption sucks hard.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Money over hatred

I believe I’ve noted it before, but I imagine the biggest reason so many congresscritters who absolutely hate Obama are on his side is because the ones who pay them want this to go through, and hatred doesn’t pay the bills.

They may hate Obama, and love shooting down anything he supports, but they love money more, simple as that.

Anonymous Coward says:

There is nothing "bizarre" about this at all

The political spectrum is not left to right as we’ve been led to believe. At least not on anything concerning money or power. The only differences the political left and right concern themselves with are wedge issues (e.g., race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and class – but only ever middle/upper-middle class vs. poor – and never the 99% vs. the 1%). In this way they seek to divide us among ourselves.

The political spectrum is actually top to bottom. This is especially true in the Senate. No wonder they have the deciding vote over the House where the People have at least a modicum of actual representation.

The plutocrats (i.e., the 1% of the 1%) and their entourage (i.e., the 1%) are at the top of the political spectrum and the rest of us make up the other side of the political spectrum (i.e., the 99% below). This is why we see them so aligned on some issues and not on others.

Why do they so badly want the TPP if it has little to do with trade? How about this whopper, the TPP gives corporations sovereignty! This gives them the power to sue countries for cutting into perceived future profits just because those countries might try something so bold as to defend the public good from corporate greed. This is insanity for the 99%, but makes perfect sense for the plutocratic interests. And this is why we are seeing the reach across the aisle.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Republicans support this for the same reason they support anything else–multinational corporations that want to have the powers of governments support it. If anyone else cared, the bill would wither and die in their obstructionist hands like anything else does. The only reason this is remarkable is that the graft has gone global. After all, why limit yourself to bribes from American companies when you can inspire it from the entire planet?

NeghVar (profile) says:

Re: Revolution

The option before revolution is Article 5 of the Constitution. To hold a Constitutional Convention. 66% of the states must bring forth a proposed amendment to the Constitution. Congress is then obligated to open a session. if 75% of the states agree on the amendment, then it by-passes congress and becomes law. This is the only we we could force term limits on members of congress. They would never slit their own throats.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

Congress is supposed to represent the citizens that voted them into office. None of them could possibly be unaware that there is massive public opposition to TPP. Senator Wyden’s Facebook page has been flooded with thousands of posts blasting him for his position on TPP and fast track. After his Washington office phone number was posted everywhere he got so many messages against TPP that the number was changed. They backed off SOPA when they realized that it was poison for their career. Why haven’t they gotten the message on this? Are they all total slaves to the big cooperations funneling millions to them that they don’t care what the voters think? Government of the cooperations, by the cooperations and of the cooperations.

Alien Rebel (profile) says:


It’s useless to discuss TPP or other trade deals without being familiar with the people doing the moving and shaking, and presenting their claims that TPP will protect the environment or labor rights. Labor? OH, RIGHT- it’s the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the ALEC and right-to-work supporters, telling me that TPP will be good for labor. USTR Michael Froman (techdirt; 5/6/13) says it won’t interfere with U.S. financial regulations. OH, RIGHT, it’s former chief of staff to deregulation champion Robert Rubin, Citicorp exec, chief operating officer of Citi Alternative Investments, Michael Froman that’s telling me this.

This calls to mind one of the very basic principles on which our government was founded: MAKE BIG THINGS HARD TO DO. Go to war, amend the constitution, stuff like that. You want me to agree to “Fast Track” something that would likely span the terms of numerous presidents, encompass 40% of global trade, maybe impact a shitload of domestic law? Umm, no. Please, I invite you to kindly STFU.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t see what’s so bizarre about it. This is one of the few times we get to see the true colors of bought and paid for politicians.

The President owes a lot of favors to his campaign donors. Running a presidential race isn’t cheap. Republicans have been heavily in the pockets for big corporations for decades.

The only thing bizarre, is that Democrats are opposing the deal. I still haven’t figured that one out, but it may have something to do with the Democratic party being more pro union. Although unions in the United States have been pretty much destroyed by “free trade” deals and “right to work (for less)” laws, that I’m surprised that Democrats are still receiving enough campaign contributions from unions to even care.

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