Friday, June 19, 2015

208.6 - Footnote: White House may endorse plan to remove Trade Adjustment Assistance from bill for fast-track authority

Footnote: White House may endorse plan to remove Trade Adjustment Assistance from bill for fast-track authority

Two Footnotes to that - we're rather heavily footnoted this week - one serious, one just for fun.

The serious one is that another possibility under discussion for how the House will deal with voting on fast-track would be to decouple it from the worker assistance provision and vote for a bill that only includes fast-track authority. If that happened and it passed, it would mean the Senate, which has already passed its own trade package which did include trade assistance, in the position of negotiating with the House for a final package that did not include workers assistance that Democrats have backed for four decades.

The word is that the White House might quietly endorse this strategy - dropping trade adjustment assistance from the bill altogether - in order to get the trade deal done. The NY Times called this "an odd twist" but I find it no surprise: Last week I talked about how for the sake of the TPP Obama was prepared to close his eyes to Malaysia's involvement in the human slave trade - so what's the big deal about the domestic detritus of our deals?

The fun one is that ran down how declared and expected presidential candidates of the two major parties stand on TPP. Some were yes, some were no, some were leaning yes, some leading no - and when they got to Bernie Sanders,  it was "Hell, no."

You may not agree with the man's politics - I will admit I agree with a good amount of it, although he's too conservative for me on some things - but you can't say you don't know what he thinks.

Sources cited in links:

UPDATE: As I expect you know, the House did have a re-vote on Thursday, June 18, again the day after I recorded the show dammit, on a fast-track bill that was indeed decoupled from Trade Adjustment Assistance. It passed 218-208, essentially the same margin as before.

The bill now goes back to the Senate, where it remains to be seen if enough Senators are willing to sign off on fast-track authority with only the promise that adjustment assistance will be dealt with later as a separate bill. (Fast-track authority, including TAA, passed the Senate with just 62 votes, just two more than the minimum required to overcome a filibuster.)

More on this, obviously, next show.

Sources cited in Update:

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