Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wrapping your head around all the trade talks...and why the GOP is buying into it

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations...entangling alliances with none” ~ Thomas Jefferson
TPA, TPP...there's even a TTIP and a TISA. What does it all mean? In a nutshell, it means more globalization and less sovereignty...but many politicians, even the ones we like, think at least some of this is a good idea.
RedState: [Thursday], the Senate granted TPA (trade promotion authority, also known as “fast-track”) to President Obama in order to negotiate the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).

The TPP has been dubbed in conservative circles as “ObamaTrade,” due to the nature of how the final deal will come about. The parameters of the deal have been secret so far. Maybe there are provisions they don’t want the public to see?

When fast-track authority is given to the President, once he submits the deal to Congress only an up-or-down vote may be held. Congress may not amend the bill nor can they filibuster the bill. The very purpose of fast-tracking is to ensure a deal can bypass parliamentary procedure.

We can almost be certain that the final version of the TPP will be very bad for America. However, with President Obama, Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and powerful lobbyists all supporting it, we cannot be certain that Congress would vote down the deal.

Who in their right mind would put the nation in such a precarious position? There is no upside with fast-tracking the TPP, but there is the very probable downside that it gets approved.

With all of this said, here is how each Senator voted on the TPA:

YEAs ---62
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Ernst (R-IA)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lankford (R-OK)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---37
Baldwin (D-WI)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Paul (R-KY)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Not Voting - 1
Enzi (R-WY)
But that's not exactly the entire picture. The US Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority, the 'fast-tracking bill,' by a 65-33 margin on May 14th BEFORE last Thursday evening's 62-38 vote to bring the debate on TPA to a close. And you see more than a few notable Republican names not only within the YEAs, but also shifting around between the two separate votes:
YEAs ---65
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Carper (D-DE)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---33
Baldwin (D-WI)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cardin (D-MD)
Casey (D-PA)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Not Voting - 2
Cassidy (R-LA)Sullivan (R-AK)
Back in April, Ryan and Cruz made the case in a WSJ op-ed that fast-tracking puts Congress in charge of trade, giving lawmakers more say over agreements that are vital for economic growth, but what's Congress' record thus far in holding this imperial Executive and his out-of-control administration accountable? Moreover, what about congressional accountability to the American people in acting on our behalf instead of the corporatists? (Also, that op-ed contained more 'fair deal''fair chance''level the playing field' speak coming from the opposition to our despotic president than I prefer to hear.)

For Rand Paul, the TPA is said to be a problem, sorta...
“I still might vote for the trade agreement, but I hate giving up power. We give up so much power from Congress to the presidency, and with them being so secretive on the treaty, it just concerns me what’s in the treaty,” Paul said, explaining his ‘no’ vote on fast tracking the TPP.
Voting against it last Thursday after he voted for it on the 14th...but he still might vote for the TPP? Trying to have his cake and eat it too?

So why are so many Republicans, including the most conservative among them, signing on to this when their conservative constituency says NO? Follow the money...
TheGuardian: A decade in the making, the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its climax and as Congress hotly debates the biggest trade deal in a generation, its backers have turned on the cash spigot in the hopes of getting it passed. ...

[Thursday's] vote, to give Barack Obama the authority to speed the bill through Congress, comes as the president’s own supporters, senior economists and a host of activists have lobbied against a pact they argue will favor big business but harm US jobs, fail to secure better conditions for workers overseas and undermine free speech online.

Those critics are unlikely to be silenced by an analysis of the sudden flood of money it took to push the pact over its latest hurdle.

Fast-tracking the TPP, meaning its passage through Congress without having its contents available for debate or amendments, was only possible after lots of corporate money exchanged hands with senators. ...

Those impressive majorities follow months of behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing by the world’s most well-heeled multinational corporations with just a handful of holdouts.
The piece goes on to name names in exploring the payouts from pro-TPP corporations, while fast-tracking was being debated in the Senate! In summary, out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 YEAs, with the average Republican member receiving $19,673.28 and the average Democrat receiving $9,689.23, both from the same corporate TPP-supporting crony capitalists (the amounts rise dramatically for those senators running for re-election).

Over at AEI, an interesting point to end on is made in comparison to Sen. Sessions' concerns over fast-tracking such trade deals in conjuction with our sovereign law...
Senator Sessions believes, “Conservativism is to proceed with caution, guided by the results of history, with a willingness to adjust one’s position based on real-world results.”

Another version of conservatism is to embrace freedom and competition as fully as possible, guided by the overwhelming evidence from real-world results today and throughout history that freedom and competition bring prosperity. Take your pick.
Take your pick in throwing caution to the wind? All for a supposed embrace? Trading liberty for security? A particular utterance comes to mind: "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system." None of this encompasses a conservative approach. Yet, far too many Republicans and conservatives seem convinced otherwise.

Related links: This Is The Difference Between TPP And TPA (Hint: They Are Not The Same Thing)
Paul and Cruz Disagree Over TPP, Here’s Why…
This is How a Sellout Politician Votes
How the Media Misrepresent ‘Fast Track,’ TPP, & TTIP
Is It Really All Our Fault?
Right and Left Globalism
Globalism is liberalism

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