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Senate Passes Trade Promotion Authority Bill

Senate Passes Trade Promotion Authority Bill


Today the Senate voted to approve the “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority bill.

Yesterday’s test vote revealed that today’s final vote was likely to swing in favor of the controversial procedural bill, which has both hardline conservatives and pro-union Democrats at odds with an unlikely bipartisan coalition.

Now, the trade debate will head back over to the House, where Democrats who were successful last week in blocking fast track’s passage will have to decide whether or not they will switch gears and support the TAA companion legislation.

Votes on the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill will be taken separately, forcing Democrats to bank on promises from Congressional leadership that the supplemental aid package will indeed come up for a vote. Earlier this month, Dems opposed to the trade legislation shot down TAA in an effort to stall passage of fast track trade authority in the House.


Today the Senate also advanced a bill that combines both TAA and African trade provisions. Once this bill passes the Senate (the cloture motion passed with over 70 votes, so it’s reasonable to assume the final vote will swing in the bill’s favor), it will head to the House, where it is also expected to pass.


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A pox on all their houses.

i’m sure Boener will do everything he can to get it passed…

fing traitor that he is.

I see this for what it is: Bare Naked Crony Capitalism On Steroids.

Of course the Low Intelligence crowd on our side would rather take the position of Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders, mainly because they are stupid, but also they suffer from a form of Obama Derangement Syndrome similar to the Bush version that drove the lefties nuts in his second term.

Fast track, as Cruz explained calmly and rationally before he cravenly caved to crazies, has been granted to every President going back to FDR because it is the only way to get trade deals passed at all.

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For the terminably stupid among you, trade pacts are not submitted as treaties because they affect tariffs; the House must have a say, so these are treated as legislation.

And this is NOT the dreaded TPP, about which so many wild rumors are flying although its provisions are and will remain secret until it is finalized. Congress will have MONTHS to evaluate it before voting it up or down.

    Barry in reply to Estragon. | June 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I guess your high intelligence would allow you to tell us low intelligence types exactly what is in the bill?

    walls in reply to Estragon. | June 24, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    1. Anything that 0bama wants very badly can be assumed to be bad.
    2. Anything that has to be viewed in a super secret locked room and cannot be revealed to the public under penalty of law [military plans excepted of course] can be assumed to be bad.

    Pardon my terminal stupidity Estragon, but why was the text of the bill so carefully hidden?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to | June 25, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Estragon’s one hell of a salesman for the GOP, ain’t he? I, for one, am grateful he deigns to explain stuff to us morons.

        What a salesman…

        We are:
        low intelligence
        Suffer from ODS
        Terminably stupid (sp included)
        Wild rumor mongers

        Maybe estragon is getting the same donation feed the senators are getting.

    Casey in reply to Estragon. | June 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    So you’re employing the Pelosi approach: we have to vote for the thing before we can find out what’s in it? Sorry, I don’t support classified/secret agreements.

    As for free trade agreements in general, perhaps we should stop being so doctrinaire. Sometimes the agreements are a good idea, sometimes not. It’s beginning to look as if -God forbid- Perot was right about NAFTA.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know what the TPA is about. And I don’t recall if Legal Insurrection has done an introductory outline/summary of the TPP+TPA in the first post on the topic.

Where can I read the actual bill?

At this point it’s not clear why anyone would want this to pass. Several questions come to mind:

1. When last we heard not all senators or congressmen had seen the bill, have all now seen it? If not, why would any who have not vote for it? Did we learn nothing from Obamacare?

2. If the bill has been seen by everyone, why can the details not be released? Indeed, even if it has been seen by only a select group, why will they not release the details?

3. Has it been seen by others not in government? Lobbyists? Trade partners? Consultants? (Anyone taking bets?) Them but not us?

Much has been made of the routine secrecy of past trade bills but, frankly, our government as a whole, and this administration in particular, has used up its trust. There is no reason to believe this bill does not sell out the country, bind us with immediate commitments in exchange for promises by others for something tomorrow – currency, debt, environment, military and defense, labor rates, taxes, immigration, transportation, pricing, veto power, gender, quotas, sourcing – the list is endless.

The bill must wait until the current administation has been walked out the door. Sensitivities aside, friendly trade partners will understand; the others? they’re the reason we need to see it. It is that simple and both know it.

I’m also of the opinion (and who cares, really?) that how this is handled by Senate and House Republicans should define the party for good. I no longer trust them. The bill is “good” for us, or “bad”….because….it just is. That’s not good enough. If the bill remains unseen, they’re done. Period. The bench is too deep to keep these folks around any longer. It is time for a change.