Joe Firestone: Fast –Track: It Looks Like It’s In Pelosi’s Lap or Maybe Not!

Yves here. This post presents the latest whip count on the Fast Track vote and how support is weakening among Republicans. You can find phone numbers here.

By Joe Firestone, Ph.D., Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program. He taught political science as the graduate and undergraduate level and blogs regularly at Corrente, Firedoglake and New Economic Perspectives. Originally published at Corrente

There are 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats in the House. Republicans, led by John Boehner and Paul Ryan, say they are confident about having enough votes to hold a successful floor vote on Friday, June 12th. However, Politico reports that Republican sources are saying they will get anywhere from 180 – 200 votes for fast-track, which doesn’t sound very different from their at least 190 vote estimate as of June 3rd.

So, that leaves anywhere from 46 – 66 Republican opponents of the legislation. The top of this range is very near the maximum of 57 Republicans that TPP opponents have previously estimated could vote against it, except that on the high side it acknowledges the possibility that Republicans may have lost ground compared to a week ago.

Last week, also, supporters of the bill reportedly could not count on more than 17 Democrats to vote for it, and no more than 20 after all the maneuvering and politicking has occurred. Today, the number of committed TPP Democrats seems to be 20, with the recent addition of Don Beyer (D-VA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), and Jim Himes (D-CT). So, it appears not much progress has been made toward the 218 votes required to carry the fast-track authority in spite of all the activity and much posturing from the pro-TPP forces.

That brings us to the Democratic Leadership as a group. A week ago, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Jim Clyburn, the to Democratic leaders in the House, were refusing to commit to either side of the fast-track issue. Politico even reports that Administration officials had begun to “consider a crazy possibility. . . ” that she might vote for the TPP herself, and then she is described as not wanting to embarrass her president “. . . by failing to get an authority granted to his predecessors.”

The Leadership seemed to be hiding its preference for fast-track and TPP behind that pretense of neutrality. But their failure to support the anti-fast-track/TPP forces, lead them, and whip for them suggested that Nancy Pelosi, assisted by Hoyer and Clyburn seemed to responsible for keeping fast-track alive in the House, since if the three Leaders all committed to the anti-fast-track position, then they might well have prevented any further defections by Democrats beyond the 17, and perhaps even rolled back some of those those to the point where Democratic support for fast-track could well have fallen to around 10 votes by the most religious members of the “free trade” religion.

Late last week Gaius Publius convincingly argued that Nancy Pelosi was both enabling fast-track, and also whipping Democrats in safe seats to vote for the TPA. The Beyer, Rice, and Himes defections from the Democratic caucus majority also occurred during this period. As of now however, Pelosi’s efforts have only brought the pro-fast-track Democratic total up to 20, which, if it holds firm, means that the Republicans would need to get to 198 votes, almost the top of their estimated range to pass fast-track.

As of this writing, there’s a whole lot of maneuvering going on to try to expand the pro-fast-track Democratic bloc in the House, and to hold or convert Republican doubters to a pro-fast track/TPP position in the face of what may be very heavy tea party pressure for more of the Republican Caucus to break away from supporting fast-track. Let’s look at the Democratic Party side first.

The Democrats held a closed meeting on Wednesday in which Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) who has been a primary leader organizing the anti-fast-track/TPP effort in the House presented a horror show, playing clips of Republican advertising in previous campaigns accusing Democratic candidates for Federal and State offices of voting to cut Medicare, and telling them that they could not safely vote for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) portion of the multi-bill compromise deal leaders were trying to craft in the House. And that it was imperative to get the Medicare cut offset of projected trade adjustment spending replaced with some other offset.

Pelosi echoed DeLauro’s advice and following an explosion of anti-TPP sentiment and debate in the meeting, negotiated a deal with John Boehner to replace the Medicare offset, with another “pay for” coming from tighter tax law enforcement and closing of some tax loopholes. Pelosi then objected to Boehner’s procedural plan for passing the various bills in the compromise package, and proposed a procedural bill to guarantee the terms of a compromise on how to pass fast-track by getting more sorely needed Democrats aboard.

And Boehner responded with this procedure which he will try to implement on Friday:

The House will begin votes Thursday. First, the House would bring up a trade “preferences” bill under expedited consideration. This bill would include the newly stringent tax restrictions, which would effectively cancel the Medicare offset Pelosi objected to. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he will pass that legislation quickly.

Then, the House will vote on a procedural “rule” bill, which would include the already nullified Medicare cuts. The House will then vote Friday on TAA — if that fails, the whole process collapses. If TAA passes, the chamber will vote on the fast-track Trade Promotion Authority. The next vote will convene a House-Senate conference on a customs bill.

If this order succeeds, then the customs conference is there to remove the troublesome (to the Administration) anti-human trafficking provision in fast-track which slipped through the Senate.

Meanwhile, while this procedure is going forward, maneuvering continues on the Democratic side, where there is Democratic opposition including Pelosi’s to the new TAA revision because it is underfunded and doesn’t provide any protection for public sector workers. Labor is pressuring the Democrats on this issue heavily, but Boehner has made no move to conciliate the Democrats further.

Also, Rosa DeLauro is objecting to a provision in the tax offset closing the currently allowed child tax credit for high income expatriates. However, Pelosi met with high-level Administration officials on the trade issues on Wednesday, and sources told Politico that they expected her to vote for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which many now consider the key pre-fast track vote freeing up some undecided Democrats to move over to supporting fast-track itself. Whether, Pelosi herself, will vote for fast-track however, is an open question.

Going over to the Republican side of the fence, Paul Ryan has been trying to sweeten the deal for some tea party Republicans to bring them over to supporting fast-track. Republicans, noting the provisions of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) made available by Wikileaks, giving the President expanded authority to make immigration policy, were developing stronger reservations about fast-track since it covers TiSA, “free trade agreements” the Executive cares to negotiate. To fix this cause of growing concern Steve King (R-IA) introduced an amendment to the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act that he thought would remove this authority from the President under “fast-track.”

Ryan responded to King, however, with promises that though celebrated by King would apparently not fix the problem. As Matthew Doyle in Breitbart says:

What Ryan is saying here — in response to concerns King raised about immigration provisions in trade agreements being fast-tracked under TPA in a previous letter to Ryan — is that Ryan will include an amendment in future legislation, not the current TPA. That means that the current TPA, if it passes the House, would still allow the immigration provisions to move forward. It also means the U.S. Senate could reject the amendment on the future legislation — which it probably will — and that if the Senate somehow does pass the legislation, Obama could veto it.

In addition, Ryan tried to further meet Republican objections to fast-track by introducing an amendment to the House Customs bill that would “ensure that trade agreements do not require changes to US law or obligate the United States with respect to global warming or climate change.” Democrats are incensed about this one. It conciliates tea party Republicans and gives them a fig leaf for supporting fast-track, but it also introduces another obstacle for wavering Democrats, strengthening their resolve to oppose fast-track, since an aspect of the bill they may have liked, is being removed by a later bill after they are being asked (In Boehner’s procedural sequence of bills) to take a difficult vote on TAA and on the fast-track bill itself before they get to vote on the customs bill and approve the House-Senate conference.

Some Democrats will already have problems with the customs bill because it contains a provision to water down the anti-human trafficking poison pill in the Senate version. But this environmental amendment to the bill, added to a provision restricting the President’s powers to handle immigration under fast-track might well provide them with an incentive to try to defeat the customs bill, in order to blow up fast-track by leaving the poison pills in there in hopes that other nations will reject the agreement when they have to accept the anti-slavery and anti-environment provisions written into fast-track.

It may be that Ryan’s attempts to sweeten fast-track for balky Republicans, will provide obstacles for Boehner and Pelosi that they cannot overcome in breaking off more Democrats from the anti-TPP forces. In any event however, it may give Boehner reasons for proposing a different procedure to Pelosi and for negotiations that will delay the fast-track vote until next week.

One thing that Ryan hasn’t done for Republicans to lessen their opposition to TPP has been to ask the Administration to make the TPP text public. Of course, Democrats have been asking for this for some time. But Republicans are asking for that too. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and five other Republicans sent a letter calling for Ryan to ask the Administration to release the TPP text in light of the provision allowing possible amendment of the agreement by the President allowing China to join the TPP later on without Congressional consent. They were also concerned about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission and exactly what its powers would be. Ryan has, of course, made no move to conciliate them and others they may represent. Nor, I’m sure, did they expect him to. So they must have made the request to stiffen the Republican opposition to fast-track.

So far, I’ve looked at the state of play on the eve of the fast-track vote by accepting a view of the political alignments as described primarily in Politico’s and the Hill’s coverage of the fast-track TPP fight. However, there is a radically different alternative view of how the political battle is working out in some conservative quarters. This view is reflected by Matthew Doyle in a post on Breitbart on June 9th in this passage:

The total number of definite Republican no votes on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal—the text of which is currently being kept hidden from the American people—is probably higher than 123, some sources close to the process tell Breitbart News, despite GOP leadership’s public statements that they will pass by voting on it soon — perhaps this week.

One aide who works for a member who isn’t publicly against it yet but is opposed to Obamatrade said that Boehner will probably will probably have to break the so-called Hastert Rule, which informally requires a majority of Republicans — 124, since there are 246 total House Republicans — to support a piece of legislation before it’s called to the House floor for a vote.

If that’s the case, with less than 20 Democrats supportive of the deal publicly, Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would need to deliver close to or more than 100 Democrat votes to get over the golden 218 marker to pass a bill. That seems, quite frankly, impossible if Republicans are as opposed to this as it seems.

This viewpoint on the state of play seems way out of right field to me and is wholly at variance with what any other commentators are offering by way of speculation about how the fast-track vote will come down. If there is even a small grain of truth in it, however, then the Republicans are far closer to their own minimum estimate of 180 votes delivered for fast-track, rather than their maximum of 200. Also, since Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership are not known for under-selling their projections about the future, and since they estimated 190 votes at the beginning of this week, the estimate of 180 or so votes seems pretty likely to me as a number close to the truth.

If they do get 180, however, then the pro-fast-track forces would need 38 Democratic votes tomorrow or early next week. I believe that is highly improbable and that the upper limit of Democratic votes is probably between 25 – 27, not enough to avoid a clear defeat for fast-track.

Of course, if even the 180 estimate turns out to be overly optimistic because it ignores the extent of tea party disturbance over this bill, then all bets are off, and we may be looking at 75 or 80 defectors from the Republican fast-track establishment, or even more as the aide Doyle quoted guessed. Either way, however, if things come down that way, then the fate of fast-track and with it TPP, TTIP, TiSA and the unknown others waiting in the wings, will have been nowhere near Pelosi’s lap at all.

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  1. Lambert Strether

    House votes to begin debate:

    WASHINGTON — Trade supporters scored a critical victory on Thursday, when the U.S. House narrowly voted, 217-212, to begin debate on a trio of trade bills now set to receive votes Friday.

    Somebody smarter than I am is going to have to read those tea leaves. It’s close, but maybe some of the Noes are holding out for more sausage or (like the Democratic leadership) concealing their true views.


    “I commend our friends in the environment groups, the labor communities, people of faith, on their efforts to improve TPA and then therefore TPP,” she said.

    You can’t buff a turd. TPA cannot be “improved.”

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      Nancy P. is full of shit and I thank Naked Capitalism and Gaius Publius for pulling the wool from my eyes.

      P.S. I’m mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore.

    2. BobSoper

      A pox on both their houses. What a craven, corrupt collection of cretins.
      I’ve never trusted “off the table” Nancy, and her backstabbing of working people in this instance is only reaffirming my loathing of her plastic face.

    1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      That’s only voting for debate. There’ll be more of them with the Republicans when in other votes. On the other hand, there will also be many more Republicans voting with the Dems. Probably more with us than Dems with them.

  2. Lambert Strether

    On the Democratic caucus earlier today. HuffPo:

    As Democrats trickled out of the caucus meeting, one thing was clear: Calls from the administration and from opponents had failed to change anyone’s mind. The uncertainty surrounding the fate of the two pieces of legislation speaks to how difficult the trade debate has been for Democrats, with many finding themselves for the first time at odds with the president.

    Given all the moving parts, the scene coming out of Thursday’s emergency caucus meeting was both chaotic and tense.

    “We have this situation that you’re going after your own. Keep in mind you never burn your bridge,” pro trade Henry] Cuellar said. “There are some people that are literally acting like this is the last vote ever to be taken by Congress, and it’s not the last vote we are going to take.”

    Well, the “last” meaningful vote. That’s what surrenduring national sovereignty means.


    Even while the officials were speaking to the caucus, two lawmakers who had been undecided — Reps. Denny Heck and Adam Smith, both of Washington — released statements of opposition to fast-track, vowing to vote no on giving Obama the authority.

    Denny Heck; 202-225-9740.

    Adam Smith; 202-225-8901.

    I just called to thank them.

    UPDATE Heck’s office was absolutely flummoxed to be called; Smith’s non-plussed. I don’t even know if they keep track of that kind of call, but it does seem like good karma.

    1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      Great news. As for Pelosi, I feel really, really, sorry for the poor lady who has to choose between the vast majority of her caucus and a few third way Dems who always side with the neoliberal Petersonian Republicans on economic issues. Time for her to resign!

      1. different clue

        Why do you feel sorry for her? I feel something close to hatred for her. I want to see her destroyed and driven out of politics. I would like to see her chain of restaurants extermicotted into liquidation. But that is up to the good people of California. Every Californian who supports Obamatrade can show their support by patronizing the Pelosi chain of restaurants.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Revenge is a dish best served cold. –Unknown.

          (I’m reacting to the word “hate”. That’s very dangerous, and I speak as, personally, a good hater, and one who has managed hate in others. I try not to do that any more. Hate is very bad, personally, for those who practice it and, I am persuaded, bad for the body politic too. The elite thrives on it for good reason.)

    1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      After the first few years Reich was always disappointed with his old school buddy. Reich lost out to Rubin early on.

  3. Lambert Strether

    This sets up the court challenge:

    [A] new legal analysis reveals that the TPP may also undermine the U.S. Constitution.

    That’s the conclusion of Alan Morrison, a constitutional law professor and associate dean at George Washington University Law School who has practiced law for 45 years, taught at six law schools including Harvard, and argued 20 Supreme Court cases.Morrison warns in a letter to Congress that the TPP’s proposed expansion of a controversial parallel legal system for foreign corporations, known as “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS), “improperly removes a core judicial function from the federal courts and therefore violates Article III of the Constitution.”

    TPP’s expansion of ISDS would newly empower thousands of foreign corporations to bypass the entire U.S. legal system and challenge U.S. laws before private international tribunals comprised of three attorneys.

    These three individuals would not be constitutionally appointed and salaried U.S. judges, but private lawyers who are paid by the hour.  As Morrison points out, “many of those who serve as arbitrators in one ISDS case represent investors challenging governments in another.”  The three ISDS lawyers, though acting like a court, would not be bound by a system of legal precedent.  They would be authorized to rule against U.S. laws and order U.S. taxpayer compensation in decisions that could not be appealed on the merits or reviewed in U.S. courts.

    If you think that the Founding Fathers might have frowned on this system, you’re not alone.  The U.S. Constitution states in Article III that U.S. courts, presided over by salaried U.S. judges, have judicial authority over challenges to U.S. laws.  Instead, the TPP would empower an ad-hoc group of three bill-by-the-hour private lawyers operating outside of the U.S. legal system to issue binding decisions on corporate challenges to U.S. laws.

    1. Carla


      I wondered when Public Citizen would get around to this. Thank you for posting, Lambert.

      1. wbgonne

        Amen. Bring on the lawsuits. Bring on the protests. Bring on the civil disobedience. This is an attempt to establish a New World Order where democratic self-rule is permanently made subservient to transnational corporate profiteering. No American politician has the right to terminate the fundamental democratic process established in the Constitution and any politician who votes to do so is an enemy of the American people, present and future.

    2. craazyboy

      ” As Morrison points out, “many of those who serve as arbitrators in one ISDS case represent corporations challenging governments in another.” The three ISDS corporate lawyers, though acting like a court, would not be bound by a system of legal precedent. They would be authorized to rule against U.S. laws and order U.S. taxpayer compensation in decisions that could not be appealed on the merits or reviewed in U.S. courts.

      Thought I should fix that up a bit for Morrison.

      The other really cool part is these lawyers[gods] can’t be disbarred for anything, like perhaps conflict of interest or, blush, ethics violations. Bet the private sector hourly rate will look really, really good too!

    3. Carolinian

      This Counterpunch article spurred me to look up Regulatory Taking, a big craze among Republicans in past years–especially out West. Here’s a long examination of the background and legal precedents.

      How indeed is it possible for ISDS to be Constitutional within the U.S.? Has this been discussed here at NC? If so I missed it. All the precedents I see where companies have demanded fines due to similar treaties seem to be in other countries.

      1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

        It’ been discussed a good deal here at NC. Look at the links I gave just below. In addition, there are probably three or four others in which I raised the issue.

        1. Carolinian

          No I think I have seen all the below links but I’m speaking of the issue raised in the Counterpunch article. Can this extra judicial power be Constitutional in the United States or is it going to just be a way to browbeat other countries without our Constitutional protection. Professor Morrison seems to say it will not survive a Constitutional challenge. I’m no lawyer, but the Wikipedia article I linked talks about extensive limits on compensation for “regulatory taking” including public health and safety considerations. Presumably Congress does have the power to expand property rights for corporations but do they have the power to allow them to be adjudicated outside of U.S. courts?

          In fact just the other day Pam Martens talked about whether SEC arbitration panels are being used Constitutionally within this country.

          U.S. District Court Judge, Leigh Martin May, ruled yesterday in Atlanta that the SEC’s system of selecting in-house judges to hear and decide SEC cases brought against individuals charged with securities violations was “likely unconstitutional.” The Judge imposed a preliminary injunction in an SEC insider-trading case until she issues her final decision in the matter.

          1. craazyboy

            I’m not trying to respond to your question directly, but my grasp so far of the TPP is that it doesn’t say anything limiting tribunal/corporate actions to be “our” corporations vs “their” governments. It creates a world of supra-corporations and a supra-legal system, so the S&P 500 is fully free to milk us at home to the best of their abilities. Like we need anymore of that. Next thing you know they’ll beat Sherman Anti-Trust and we’ll have a bunch of monopolies and price fixing on our hands! :)

    4. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      You and I my not be recognized Con law authorities, but we telegraphed this some time ago in here, here, and here. Ellen Brown also discussed constitutionality issues here.

    5. FrenchToastPlease

      Of course it violates the Constitution! It overrides it. Thus, if a proposed treaty would violate any provision of the Constitution, it may not even be seriously considered or debated, much less be ratified and implemented because the same restrictions that were placed by the Constitution on the U.S. Federal government are also imposed on any treaty provision.

  4. Sanctuary

    I’ll say again to any Democrat or Congressional staffer reading this blog: If you pass this TPA and TPP, the Democratic Party will join its cousins, the Labor parties of Israel and the UK, in oblivion. You will have totally destroyed your “middle-class” brand and have given your supporters no reason to come out to vote for you. This isn’t something you’ll be able to spin your way out of. It would force despair and apathy onto your voters, and you would simply cease to exist as a credible party. You followed Obama over the cliff with a badly designed health care bill with all too apparent and direct costs (individual mandate, taxation of benefits, tax penalties) and all too indirect/meager benefits. You did this all while he and his allies kept swearing it was going to get more popular. Has it? No, it hasn’t and never will precisely because the costs are clear and the benefits are not. That’s high political malpractice. You followed him over the cliff with sequester and and his terrible negotiating of the end of the Bush tax cuts. He almost sucked you into the disaster that is chained CPI because of those terrible negotiations. Where did that get you? You’re in the minority now in both Houses of Congress,aren’t you? I just have to ask you to ask yourselves, “How many times do you have to follow the same guy over the cliff and get the same disastrous result before you realize you’re going to be destroyed?”

    In short, SAVE YOURSELVES. Obama isn’t running again. You have no reason to sacrifice your own political careers nor the viability of your party to satisfy something on his bucket list. VOTE AGAINST THE TPA AND THE TPP.

    1. RUKidding

      Quite honestly, the “Democrat” politicians have been way past caring one iota about what the proles think or want. Their constituents are the .001%, who lavishly fund their campaigns and buy their influence. How much do you have to spend on them?

      It doesn’t matter if it’s Obama in the White House or Clinton or another Bush or Mitt RMoney. That’s not the point.

      Yes, I’m cynical, and I’m told I shouldn’t be, but I think what’s happening now is just Kabuki Show to let the proles think that the Pols are actually “thinking” about the pros/cons of this legislation. TPP was a done-deal from the get-go. The only surprise I would experience is if Pelosi was actually whipping against it, but she’s not. Just as I expected multi-gazillionaire (just where DID all that money come from??) greed-head Pelosi is whipping for it. And you can betcha that she’ll be handsomely rewarded for it.

      Given the lack of knowledge about politics exhibited by my very well educated friends and acquaintances, who think that they’re “knowledgeable” about politics, the D party isn’t going away. And even if it does? So what? These pols have all amassed fortunes. If they don’t have a job on the Hill, why they’ll just sashay through the revolving door and get a more lucrative job on K St.

      That’s my take.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I don’t care if comments are cynical, except when it leads to sloppy* and disempowering naivete, as here.

        Everything is inevitable, until it isn’t.

        There is no alternative, until there is.

        You lose until you win.

        * A fixed game doesn’t look like this does. I’ll grant that the rules are rigged, and some games, too, but not every game, and not this game.

        1. hunkerdown

          Pulling the “gut Medicare” provision out of the bill before a vote and putting it back in after the vote via sequester procedure isn’t fixing?

          You seem a bit livid right now, from the autocorrect errors… not that I blame you.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Your comment shifts the argument. Your original claim is: “TPP was a done-deal from the get-go.” Dubious, and not evidenced. Now you claim that a parliamentary maneuver is “fixing.” No, it isn’t. That’s like saying a bunt is the same is the Black Sox scandal in baseball. Like I said, sloppy. The problem with “cynicism” is that all answers are predetermined. That leads to laziness, and that leads to sloppiness.

            And I’ll let “livid” go, because today is my day to be kind.

        2. jrs

          Sometimes I think I’m so cynical at times, that if anyone reads my comments they won’t even call their congressperson.

          For heavens sake, call congress!!!

          I don’t notice that because it really has little to do with how I function, where I would call the congressperson even if the odds were only 1% of it making a difference (not that I know what they really are).

      2. hunkerdown

        Your “well-educated” friends might be the New Democrats’ loyal base, which would explain why you’re having trouble getting through to them. Most of middle management *wants* a more compliant underclass to elevate them through their ordained succession as Pwofessionals; it’s just not fashionable to say so without wistfully sighing some authoritarian rationalization for the Party’s celebration of obedience.

      3. craazyboy

        “(just where DID all that money come from??) greed-head Pelosi is whipping for it.”

        I just figure Tim Cook is really, really happy he can get married now. hahahahaha.

      4. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

        Their K street jobs wouldn’t be worth very much if we kicked them all out and replaced them with Green Party candidates. Ca you imagine a “K” street hack visiting Margaret Flowers as HHS Secretary. What a blast that would be!

        1. Yata

          Without underestimating the influence of money in lobbying and politics, wouldn’t this across the board / total spectrum / sell-out / trade deal eliminate the need for a lot of future lobbying by the corporations ?

    2. jrs

      We should let them know if they vote for the TSA, TPP, etc., every bad thing that comes out of it we will work tirelessly to inform voters about and draw the link. Trade agreements passed and local jobs lost? Check. Trade agreements passed and evil company can now pollute the local water supply. Check. If we have to phone them and pass out flyers and knock on doors.

      It can get hard once things pass to trace cause and effect. We have to let them know there is no forgiveness for treason, ever.

    3. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      Well done. My sentiments exactly. They created their own problem when they accepted Republicans into their ranks and then ran them for office because they were more “centrist. They’ve been doing it since Carter’s time.

  5. Oregoncharles

    Oregon residents: Aside from DeFazio and Merkley, ALL the Oregon Democrats in Congress are supporting Fast Track.

    At issue now: Bonamici, Dist. 1: this is a swing district – she COULD put herself in danger.
    Schrader, dist. 5: Also a swing district.
    Blumenauer, dist. 3(?): supposedly liberal, from a blue district (E. Portland area).

    ESPECIALLY if you’re in 1 or 3, call them and make politely phrased threats. They should at least be nervous about this.

    If you want to remind them that the Oregon Green Party is planning spoiler campaigns against all of them and they’re handing us endless ammunition, plus alienating the unions, go ahead. Do they really want to drive unions into the arms of the Greens? This Is at least something they haven’t heard before.

    And if Walden is your rep, you need right-wing compatible talking points, like sovereignty and constitutionality.

  6. Do

    Government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation. What happened to the government for the people?

  7. illusion

    What’s the rush?
    Its as if this needs to be done before Hillary announces.
    Its as if some invisible person is calling the shots.
    Its as if the next President has been chosen.

  8. Winston Smith

    Can someone answer this question. What is all the hand wringing and worry over China taking a dominant role in trade in Asia when China’s rise is due to our most favored nation trade status, and allowing China into the WTO and allow our and our allies businesses from moving their factories and operations to China?!

    Then these idiots bitch and moan about it’s ambitions and that we need these ludicrous trade deals to combat them, while we keep importing more crap from China, allow US based multinationals to even operate over there.

    HELLO!? is anyone thinking?

    I do realize that the China argument is a red herring and scare tactic for the less informed.

    1. craazyboy

      ssshh! We’re aren’t supposed how remember how it happened. Or that it only took 15 years.

      ‘Course China rejected TPP, so when they steal the 49% ownership partnerships back from our corporations and steal Taiwan from us with all of Silicon Valley’s outsourced semiconductor fab plants (and patented chip designs that are necessarily at these plants) then it will be a military action required on our part.

  9. Jay M

    a crowning acheivement from the non-entity former house leader from, let me think for a second, San Francisco
    we won’t know the implications until it passes through the solons hands

  10. sd

    Why exactly does the United States need a Trans Pacific Trade deal? Bottom line, what is the point? As far as I can tell, it has one goal – access to cheap labor and cheap materials with no restrictions and no tariffs.

    No one has yet succinctly provided an argument FOR the Trade deals. Lots of bluster about “free trade” but that’s pretty much where it ends.

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