|Workers have earned an important victory on fast track!|
Senate Democrats took a stand today against efforts to ram fast track trade authority through the chamber, denying an effort to move forward with consideration of the legislation. The vote further delays big business' desire to pass fast track and raises serious doubts about the future of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The defeat came after a key block of lawmakers who otherwise support fast track said they would not allow the vote to proceed. From Politico:
A critical vote on President Barack Obama’s trade agenda is headed for failure on Tuesday afternoon as a group of pro-trade Senate Democrats announced they will vote against even opening debate on the bill.
In exchange for voting to approve fast-track trade powers for the president, Democrats have demanded that the Senate also pass additional worker protections. So far, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has stopped short of promising that those provisions will become law.
Democrats that are supportive of Obama’s trade efforts huddled on Tuesday afternoon to mull over their strategy. After nearly an hour, led by Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the bloc of about 10 Democrats said McConnell has not offered them sufficient guarantees.
The vote does not spell total success on the issue. But it shows that more and more lawmakers realize there are serious problems with fast track and that it should not be jammed down the throats of workers. And efforts to pass fast track so Congress can get TPP approved will only get more difficult as additional lawmakers realize what a lousy deal it is for America!