Pelosi, Democrats kill #Obamatrade

Pelosi, Democrats kill #Obamatrade

President Obama was hustling. He hustled himself over the congressional baseball game last night, and this morning he hustled over to Capital Hill, where he tried to hustle his party members into a vote for his trade legislation. The big names like Nancy Pelosi said … umm, no.

“Slow down the fast track to get a better deal for the America people,” the California lawmaker said in a speech on the House floor moments before a pair of showdown votes.

Obama Pelosi trade vote

Obama didn’t getting any love from the other Democrats either:

“Basically the president tried to both guilt people and then impugn their integrity,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., one of the most outspoken opponents of the legislation. …

But Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., countered that the legislation heading toward a showdown vote included “no meaningful protections whatever against currency manipulation.” …

Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California, an opponent of the legislation, said Obama’s appeal “didn’t convince me. It may have convinced other members.” …

And despite all of Obama’s overtures, he might have made things worse:

Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, who plans to oppose both key trade measures Friday. “I really disagree with him on this more and more.”

Democrats got a lot of pressure from their constituencies to vote no.

Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, a progressive political-action committee, warned Democrats against supporting either the workers’ aid program or the fast-track measure.

“We will not lift a finger or raise a penny to protect you when you’re attacked in 2016, we will encourage our progressive allies to join us in leaving you to rot, and we will actively search for opportunities to primary you with a real Democrat,” Mr. Dean said in a statement Friday.

Two votes were scheduled to take place today – the workers assistance program (TAA) for those who lose jobs under any trade agreement, and the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The TAA went first, and either through voting their conscience or through gaming the vote, the House defeated the TAA. The vote was 126-302. Without the TAA, the TPA can not move forward, even though it passed 219-211.

In a stunning defeat for the White House, the House of Representatives on Friday voted down a measure creating an assistance program for workers displaced by free trade agreements.

This measure’s passage was required before lawmakers could proceed to voting on trade promotion authority, and the move throws Obama’s proposed trade deal with Asia into serious jeopardy.

Nancy Pelosi, with proof now that she lacks a conscience, was one of the gamers:

[S]he sided with opponents ahead of a pair of critical votes, an ominous sign for trade proponents. Pelosi said she would vote against a jobs aid bill that is critical to winning needed Democratic votes for fast track.

“Its defeat is the only way we will be able to slow down fast track,” Pelosi said.

This defeat doesn’t mean the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead, but it may mean that Obama will have a hard time securing the agreement with 11 other nations. Paul Ryan claimed the TPA would aid in “transparency” and ensure that Obama included various obligations in the TPP, but this is hard to square with the TPP and TiSA documents Wikileaks disclosed indicating a lot of controversial items like relaxed immigration provisions, weak intellectual property protections, trade tribunals removed from U.S. jurisdictional protections, and lack of currency controls.

Who knew Nancy would be the hero today?

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