Congress Doesn't Really Have The Votes To Move Fast Track Forward, Everyone Starts Pointing Fingers

from the still-waiting dept

Last week, the House rejected the President's desired "fast track" authority for trade bills that would have smoothed the way to signing onto trade agreements like the TPP, TTIP and TISA. Technically, "fast track" was voted for, but a related issue around Trade Adjustment Authority (TAA) was rejected (overwhelmingly: 302 to 126). Because the Senate had linked those two, the House needed to as well. Following this, House leadership invoked a procedural move that basically set up a revote for today. Given the massive margin by which TAA failed, I wondered aloud how they would flip so many votes. However, in the back of my head, I worried that the approval of the actual fast track bill meant that the TAA rejection was something of a theatrical production, allowing people to "vote against" it and then let it pass a week later. Turns out my original thought was the correct one.

There is no deal in place, and the House knows it, so it's not even going to try the vote. There was a procedural move to basically delay things through the end of July, so that it could come back, but it does seem clear that the President had no plan B, and really thought that House Democrats -- who have been squawking for months over this -- would eventually come around to back his position.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, while they're publicly blaming the Democrats for this, they're punishing dissenters in the ranks who threatened some of the procedural shenanigans. And, at the same time, it appears that they're trying to craft a new plan that would separate fast track from the TAA and still move forward with fast track by itself, but that creates a whole host of other problems -- the biggest one being that those who voted against TAA in order to block fast track obviously know what's going on -- and this new move would likely be met with enough resistance to stop it as well.

Everyone agrees that fast track authority for the TPP (and those other trade agreements) is not necessarily dead, but it is on significant life support.

Filed Under: congress, fast track, house, tisa, tpp, ttip

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Jun 2015 @ 8:53pm


    If you want something to pass, but don't want to be held responsible for it passing, it then makes sense to hand it off to someone else and let them take responsibility for passing it.

    Pretty much trade agreements have become something exactly like that. No one wants to be held accountable for passing law that no-one is allowed to read and benefits the plutocrats but not the constituency.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.