Tell me again what benefit there was to re-electing Mitch McConnell, or giving Republicans the victory in the Senate?
Trade Promotion Authority or TPA contains fast-track provisions would allow Congress, under strict timelines, to consider trade deals with a simple up-or-down vote without any amendments or requirements of a Senate super-majority to end debate.
This would grant new power to the executive branch and reduce congressional ability to modify of block the TPP bill itself. Obviously this would help Obama complete the final details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with the other 11 nations, a bloc that represents about 40 percent of the global economy.
(Via Washington Post) President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight in the House, where it faces more entrenched opposition from Democrats.
The Senate coalition fought off several attempts by opponents to undermine the legislation, defeating amendments that were politically popular but potentially poisonous to Obama’s bid to secure the trade deal.
“This is an important bill, likely the most important bill we will pass this year. It’s important to President Obama,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and primary author of the bill, said at the close of debate. (more)
The actual trade deal itself is being kept secret, classified, and cloaked in darkness.
[…] Senators are forced to go into a classified viewing room in order to read the full text of the document, but are not allowed to bring in key staff or take notes on what is included in the bill text. Not only this, but as you would assume for classified documents, elected officials are unable to speak to anyone without proper security clearance about the specific details of the trade negotiations without suffering potential criminal legal ramifications.
This becomes a serious issue when dealing with complicated and technical negotiations regarding the largest trade deal in American history. It also raises serious questions about the legislative process and democracy generally when the public is unable to view the content of a bill introduced in Congress, but foreign government officials and private corporations are. (link)
Speaker of the House John Boehner is praising the Senate’s passage of the trade bill and calling on Democrats to join with Republicans to pass the law in the House.
With trade promotion authority, we’ll be able to hold President Obama accountable so America’s workers can get the best agreements. Without it, our workers will fall further behind as China writes the rules of the global economy (link)