We can only hope.
(note- I am quoting only the most inside the Beltway sources, they are impeccably attributed, and I have more than one.- ek)
Could liberals bring down Obama’s big trade agenda?
By Greg Sargent, Washington Post
June 11 at 1:24 PM
The latest: Dem Rep. Sander Levin – the ranking Democrat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and a well-respected lawmaker on trade and labor issues – plans to vote No on a key measure related to trade, a spokesperson for Levin confirms to me. That could prove to be a serious blow.
Levin will vote No on so-called Trade Adjustment Assistance, a measure that would give aid to workers displaced by trade, his spokesman, Caroline Behringer, tells me. “Mr. Levin plans to vote No on TAA,” she emails.
This suggests that the strategy that liberal Democrats and labor unions have employed to kill Fast Track may be working. As I reported the other day, a bloc of liberal House Dems, allied with unions, have been working to turn House Democrats against TAA, as a back-door way to bring down Fast Track, and with it, the whole deal. The administration says it needs Fast Track to seal the final agreement.
To pass Fast Track – which has already passed the Senate – House GOP leaders would need around 20, and possibly more, pro-TPP House Dems to vote Yes, depending on how many Republicans vote No. If TAA doesn’t pass first, those Dems might find it too politically difficult to vote for Fast Track, killing it that way. Or, for complex procedural reasons, if TAA fails, House GOP leaders might not end up moving Fast Track at all.
Only arond 50-100 Republicans are expected to vote for TAA – it is assistance for workers – so it would have to pass with overwhelming Democratic support. That’s why liberals opposed to Fast Track and TPP are urging House Dems to oppose it.
And so, liberal Dems had initially argued that TAA – which they would generally support, since it helps workers – must be opposed because it is funded with Medicaid cuts. But Nancy Pelosi – who is trying to salvage TAA – negotiated a new, uncontroversial pay-for for TAA with the GOP leadership.
Just today, several labor unions – the AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters – circulated letters to House Democrats, urging a No vote on TAA, on the grounds that it doesn’t extend assistance to public employees.
Dems threaten to sink Obama trade agenda
By Jake Sherman, John Bresnahan and Lauren French, Politico
6/11/15 2:29 PM EDT
The uncertainty surrounding the TAA and fast track votes are becoming a serious problem for Obama. If TAA fails, the House will not take up Trade Promotion Authority, the key legislation that would give Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Under that scenario both sides would have to regroup and figure out a way forward – or else the 12-nation trade deal could fall apart.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), normally a close ally of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), has been a vocal opponent of TAA, while raising other objections about the package. DeLauro and the Congressional Progressive Caucus are using the TAA issue as a wedge to sink fast track. And these progressives, who have been in favor of TAA for years, may end up killing the program, along with the rest of Obama’s trade agenda.
It’s not only Democrats who have issues. The conservative House Freedom Caucus, led by Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, is exploring whether they have the votes to block a procedural “rule” vote Thursday afternoon. The conservatives are upset that GOP leaders are “bending over backward to appease 20 Democrats but refusing to work with 40 Republicans,” one Freedom Caucus member said, referring to a list of demands from the right. If the group succeeds – it’s unclear whether it has the votes to stop the rule vote – it would stop the process in its tracks.
Much of the discontent is from the president’s party. The anger stems from an earlier bipartisan decision to use Medicare savings to fund TAA. Boehner abandoned that plan – at Pelosi’s behest – but she then asked for changes to the procedure by which the bill comes to the floor. Boehner agreed to that, as well.
But liberals like DeLauro are still opposed, and the president’s top emissaries have been unable to assuage concerns.
Because they can’t. TPP is a treasonous (with more than two witnesses) sellout of the basic foundations of United States democracy and must. be. stopped. Contact your so-called “Representatives”.