Boom: House Rejects Fast Track... For Now

from the down-it-goes dept

Without getting too down in the procedural weeds, just a little while ago, the House of Representatives effectively blocked "fast track authority" for the White House on trade deals -- for now. There was a lot of political maneuvering, and apparently the President started pushing hard on Congressional Democrats to support the trade deals. Many thought the last minute push would make it happen, but with Nancy Pelosi saying that Congress needed to "slow down" fast track, fast track basically came off the table. Again, how this was done involved a lot of gamesmanship and technically a later vote on fast track actually passed very narrowly (219 to 211), but it doesn't matter, because an earlier vote on a different, related measure, needed to pass as well, as the two issues were bundled together. After a bunch of confusing procedural moves, it appears that the House of Representatives will take another shot at this next week, but considering that the key provision went down by a 302 to 126 vote, a lot of arms need to be twisted in the next week and that may not be possible. If the vote next week fails, then things are extremely bleak for the future of "fast track" and the various trade agreements the USTR is pushing.

The whole setup was somewhat confusing, because that official 302 to 126 vote was against Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program for helping workers whose jobs are displaced by trade. Such a program is usually supported by Democrats, but was rejected here in order to block Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which was bundled with TAA on the Senate side. The later "show vote" for TPA is meaningless, because it would now need to go back to the Senate for a new vote, and the Senate won't approve TPA without TAA. And, of course, all of this is needed for the USTR and Obama to get the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) approved. And, if you're confused by the fact that TAA, TPA and TPP all sound sorta similar, don't worry: that's all on purpose to confuse the hell out of you and most of the rest of the public.

Rest assured, however, that what happened today was the House of Representatives pumping the brakes on trade agreements like the TPP, after months of really heavy pressure from the White House, which had really ramped up in the past few weeks and days. This is a big blow to the USTR's program. It doesn't mean the House won't eventually get there, but it's not going to be an easy path, and this certainly could put agreements like the TPP (and TTIP and TISA) at risk.

Filed Under: congress, fast track, house of representatives, taa, tpa, tpp, trade promotion, ustr


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 11:36am

    'this certainly could put agreements like the TPP (and TTIP and TISA) at risk'

    all we can do is hope. there has been nothing good come out of anyof these deals and they are only raised in the first place to screw the people, not other businesses, industries of countries. the main aim being to stop copyright theft, illegal downloading, propping up the (hopefully) dying models of the movie and music studios then lengthening copyright terms, raising any and all punishments, then similar things for patents. one main area being to ensure Pharma companies can carry on playing God over who lives and who dies, simply by stopping any 'look-a-like' drugs on to the market! let's hope there are no changes to the vote!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LeftShark, 12 Jun 2015 @ 11:40am

    Trade Agreements

    Since there is some resistance to these agreements in the countries affected, what happens if one or more do not approve? Is that country just left out in the cold (or probably better off)? What happens to the countries that do approve it and the US fails to approve it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 11:40am

    The problem with the efforts for fast track, vaious laws, and trade agreements, no is only temporary, they can try again latter; while yes is permanent because it becomes the law of the land.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    johnjac (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 11:52am

    "T"

    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      johnjac (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 11:54am

      Re: "T"

      Insightful, Thanks johnjac!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Derek Kerton (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 4:28pm

      Re: "T"

      TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT
      TTTTTTTTTTTTTT


      FTFY

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tom Czerniawski, 12 Jun 2015 @ 11:56am

    They'll keep trying until they get their way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 12:49pm

      Re:

      How's the saying go, 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance'?

      They'll keep trying, which means people need to keep opposing them. They can score occasional victories sure, but they only really win when people let them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 1:06pm

        Re: Re:

        They can score occasional victories sure

        That is the problem, once a law is enacted it is very rarely repealed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2015 @ 2:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Be cause everyone one that runs for office in attempts to reverse terrible laws are treated very very badly by everyone.

          Take Ron Paul for example... the is no more or less nuts than any other politician, but you will find that people have little tolerance for his type.

          He advocates the abolition of the Fed and IRS.

          Jesse Ventura said that the law was to complicated to serve his fellow man. That is a wisdom seldom seen.

          Something you people need to learn... all of the politicians you think are normal people... those are the ones to watch out for... because they did a damn good job paying off people and coaching themselves to hide their faults. These are nearly guaranteed to be the most corruptible of people. All the whacky ones... those with weird habits and goofy bullshit that spews from time to time tend to be more honest because they are not so deceitful as to spend time hiding their bullshit from others.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      So what we really need is a bill passed that states unequivocally that a branch of government cannot make unilateral decisions that affect the law of the land, but all three branches are required. Any future changes will result in a loss of funding to the branch no longer involved in the decision making process.

      Then whichever branch wants to have unilateral law-making powers like this, they'll have to get this law repealed* by all three branches to succeed.

      * yes, they might be able to do a two-step and just get it modified to begin with, but it would still be almost as tricky as repealing copyright.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 16 Jun 2015 @ 3:13pm

        Re: Re:

        So what we really need is a bill passed that states unequivocally that a branch of government cannot make unilateral decisions that affect the law of the land, but all three branches are required.

        The president would veto such a bill, and if the veto were overruled, I don't think it would pass constitutional muster. That process is just not what the Constitution outlines for how laws are made. You'd have to amend the Constitution to get this done.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 12:31pm

    The title made me smile.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    drwho28 (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 1:06pm

    New Zealand

    It seems that the nations that have the most to lose, and disagree with the U.S. over T.P.P., are the initial signatories that are pretty much locked in to T.P.P. already. Now the U.S. comes in and says we won't join unless you do x number of things. Nations like New Zealand need to get out of this before they get stepped on big time. Either that or ban U.S. and Japanese tourists from visiting L.O.T.R. sites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 1:21pm

    TD - Please include bill numbers.

    And, if you're confused by the fact that TAA, TPA and TPP all sound sorta similar, don't worry: that's all on purpose to confuse the hell out of you and most of the rest of the public.

    Mike,

    Agreed. It can get extremely confusing.

    Please consider doing us a public service by including, whenever possible, the House and Senate bill numbers in your posts (e.g., Trade Adjustment Assistance(TAA)(H.R. 1314)). That would make it much easier on those that care to see which way their reps voted and see the bills/resolutions status (e.g., at https://www.congress.gov).

    Thanks,

    Anonymous Coward

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mark Gisleson (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 1:44pm

    Yes it was confusing

    but in no way was Nancy Pelosi trying to stop fast track. Naked Capitalism has written about this at length. Pelosi pushed so hard for this her own allies in the Democratic Caucus called her out last night.

    Anything you read crediting Pelosi with stopping this is based on her flacks' false account. Pelosi and Obama lost today, and the Democratic party regained a smidgeon of their lost honor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 2:23pm

      Political Suicide

      Pelosi pushed so hard for this her own allies in the Democratic Caucus called her out last night.

      That was my first thought when I saw she voted "no". That, and confusion.

      As far as I'm concerned, TPP, TTIP, etc. amount to nothing less than the plutocrats publicly declaring an all out war on our democracy. And they're making it very easy to spot the enemy. Any Representative voting in support of this garbage is committing political suicide. Whether Democrat, Republican, Independent, or other, knowing whether or not to ever vote for your Rep again is as easy as seeing how they voted on these bills. No matter what pretty words they try to wrap around a "yes" vote, you really don't need to give them any further consideration.

      As for the Democrats voting in favor of this nonsense - see you in the primaries, bitches!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 2:39pm

    Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program for helping workers whose jobs are displaced by trade.


    why would this be needed if jobs weren't going away in the first place.



    just sit still while i stitch up this knife wound that you'll be getting soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DigDug, 13 Jun 2015 @ 8:11pm

    If only they would die of SSFTADS

    Sudden Stupid Fraking Trade Agreements Death Syndrome

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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