(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters denounced the political gamesmanship used by House representatives to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by attaching it to HR 2146, the Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act, a widely-supported bill that enables federal firefighters to access their retirement savings once they reach retirement age.
Supporters of TPA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could not push through a Senate-approved fast track trade package last week that included a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) portion. Just six days ago, the House resoundingly voted the TAA portion down.
“In what has become the standard operating procedure for this Congress, political maneuvering has yet again been used to pass legislation that could not stand on its own merit,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “By stripping out any form of Trade Adjustment Assistance from the package, House leadership is leaving working families vulnerable to the inevitable job loss that will accompany bad trade deals like TPP.”
The bill now moves to the Senate where the Teamsters Union will continue to fight to stop this dangerous and harmful fast track legislation.
“While we are disappointed in today’s result, we will continue the fight to stop fast track in the Senate,” Hoffa said. “We cannot allow a simple up-or-down vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that jeopardizes the U.S. economy by shipping jobs overseas and lowering wages at home. The future of the middle class and working families is too important.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.