Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fast-track to ObamaTrade: Obama, McConnell advance, Cruz reverses, everything stinks (UPDATE)

There's no way to slice anything good out of this. Once again, an imperial president not only gets what he wants, but is given what he wants...by his purported opposition.

Don't be fooled.

Where the TPA vote is being heralded as a legislative victory for Obama and McConnell (and Boehner for that matter...what sordid bedfellows)...
RCP: Tuesday morning, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell pledged the legislature would pass bills giving the president trade promotion authority "by the end of this week."

At least 60 senators must vote for it to clear a procedural hurdle Tuesday for a final vote tomorrow. In a May 21 vote, 62 senators backed fast track, but some like Sen. Ted Cruz have returned to "undecided."

"We shouldn't let this opportunity for a significant bipartisan achievement slip past us," McConnell said Monday. "If we simply vote the same way we just did a couple weeks ago, we won't."

TheHill: The Senate on Tuesday voted to advance President Obama’s trade agenda, approving a measure to end debate on fast-track authority.

The 60-37 motion sets up a vote on final passage on Wednesday. If the Senate approves fast-track or trade promotion authority (TPA), it would then be sent to Obama’s desk to become law.

Fast-track authority would allow Obama to send trade deals to Congress for up-or-down votes. The White House wants the authority to conclude negotiations on a sweeping trans-Pacific trade deal. Thirteen Democrats backed fast-track in Tuesday’s vote, handing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a major legislative victory. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) voted against the procedural motion.

The Democrats cast "yes" votes even though the trade package did not include a workers assistance program for people displaced by increased trade. The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program was a part of the last fast-track package approved by the Senate in May, but became a key part of opposition to the package among Democrats in the House.

To move fast-track forward, the White House and GOP leaders in both chambers decided to break TAA away from fast-track and to try to approve both in separate votes.

After the Senate votes Wednesday on final passage for fast-track, it will take a procedural vote on a package that includes TAA and trade preferences for African countries known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

McConnell has promised both bills will reach Obama’s desk by the end of the week.

“If we all keep working together and trusting each other, then by the end of the week the President will have TPA, TAA and AGOA and Preferences on his desk,” he said on the floor.

The House has already passed fast-track but it must still vote on the package including TAA, which faces opposition from conservatives.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reiterated on Tuesday his pledge to vote again on TAA as soon as it clears the upper chamber.

“The House will consider TAA once it passes the Senate as part of a new trade preferences bill. And we are ready to go to conference on the customs bill. Our goal is to get TPA and TAA to the president's desk this week and deliver this win for the American people,” he said in a statement.
Related link: Senate salvages Obama trade agenda

...it's been a legislative dud for both the American people and constitutional conservatives, Cruz in particular, who finally reversed support of this disaster in the 11th hour, because he realized how corrupt the process is in the House. But it ain't just the House, Senator!
Breitbart: The American people do not trust President Obama. And they do not trust Republican leadership in Congress. And the reason is simple: for far too long, politicians in Washington have not told the truth.

Both President Obama and Republican leadership are pressing trade promotion authority, also known as TPA, or “fast-track.” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) both oppose it.

As a general matter, I agree (as did Ronald Reagan) that free trade is good for America; when we open up foreign markets, it helps American farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers.

But TPA in this Congress has become enmeshed in corrupt Washington backroom deal-making, along with serious concerns that it would open up the potential for sweeping changes in our laws that trade agreements typically do not include.
Related link: Ted Cruz REVERSES on Obamatrade over corrupt process, explains why in op-ed

I'm pretty certain this is what Sen. Sessions was warning about just last week that some didn't want to believe. And it would appear as though the time to filibuster has passed.

Like I said, all in all, no way to slice any good from this.

Levin sounded equally disgusted tonight...
On Tuesday’s Mark Levin Show: The idea that John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and their cronies in Congress would support this further surrendering of power is unacceptable. President Obama has already told Democrats he intends to use the powers he’d get from the trade bill to advance his positon on global warming, immigration, and his entire leftist agenda. McConnell is so proud to be working with Democrats while he and Boehner force Republicans to deliver Obama his agenda. Mark speaks with Sen. Ted Cruz about the trade bill fiasco and the current state of Congress.

Related links: RINOs desperate for ObamaTrade, House approved TPA moves to Senate
Fast-track to surrender and globalization for America

UPDATE: And the Senate passes 'fast-track' Trade Promotion Authority on Wednesday...Republicans marching lockstep with Obama towards globalization. Insanity, ain't it?
LegalInsurrection: Today the Senate voted to approve the “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority bill.

Yesterday’s test vote revealed that today’s final vote was likely to swing in favor of the controversial procedural bill, which has both hardline conservatives and pro-union Democrats at odds with an unlikely bipartisan coalition.

Now, the trade debate will head back over to the House, where Democrats who were successful last week in blocking fast track’s passage will have to decide whether or not they will switch gears and support the TAA companion legislation.

Votes on the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill will be taken separately, forcing Democrats to bank on promises from Congressional leadership that the supplemental aid package will indeed come up for a vote. Earlier this month, Dems opposed to the trade legislation shot down TAA in an effort to stall passage of fast track trade authority in the House.

Today the Senate also advanced a bill that combines both TAA and African trade provisions. Once this bill passes the Senate (the cloture motion passed with over 70 votes, so it’s reasonable to assume the final vote will swing in the bill’s favor), it will head to the House, where it is also expected to pass.

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