A much awaited and controversial vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, took place today, and possibly handed the Obama administration one of its biggest defeats to date. It also may have stirred an interesting division within the Democrat party.
In a flaming defeat, the House sent the TPP packing in a vote of 126-302.
If you haven’t been following the TPP, here’s a good, short video that outlines the train wreck it is.
So, one would think that a piece of legislation, going through our own constitutional process would be a bit more transparent. Not so much. No one outside of the legislature has been allowed to read it, and most did not, before the vote. And if they did read, they are not allowed to discuss it, . . . with anyone. Which leads to the next oddity. Why are 600 multi-national corporations also involved in participating in the closed-door negotiations of the TPP, but the voting Americans can’t know the details of the agreement?
Leaks of agreement content suggest that its passage would facilitate huge job losses here in the U.S. and a loss of national sovereignty, as it would subject the members of TPP to tribunal rule.
Interestingly enough, the Republicans and Democrats have been crossing wires on its support and their support of the Obama administration.
Far left, Elizabeth Warren, has publicly criticized Obama, and took a public spanking from the negotiator-in-chief.
After being publicly rebuked by President Obama for her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted yesterday: “The Obama Admin says I’m wrong – we shouldn’t worry about TPP. So why can’t the American people read the deal?”
The perplexity of support, or not, for the agreement doesn’t stop with Democrats. Republicans, too, have uncharacteristicly lined up to try to push the fast track agreement through.
Historically, since FDR virtually every president has had fast track authority. What fast track provides is simply if a free trade agreement is negotiated, that Congress will vote on it up or down without amendments and history has demonstrated for the last 80 years that the only way to get free trade agreements adopted is to have fast track. That if there is no fast track, free trade agreements do not end up being negotiated.
TPA is what the Senate voted on recently. I voted in favor of fast track because I support free trade. I think free trade benefits America. It creates jobs — opening markets to our farmers, to our ranchers, to our manufacturers, improves economic growth. In Texas alone, roughly 3 million jobs depend on international trade.
And if you support free trade, the only way history has shown free trade agreements get negotiated is through fast track.
Now there is a second issue which has caused a great deal of confusion and that is TPP…it is one specific trade deal that is being negotiated. It is separate from TPA. Congress has not voted on TPP, and there’s a great deal of concern about TPP.
Stay tuned for updates. It’s likely not going away on its own.
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