Call your senators now: Say “no” to fast track. We can win, but people must take action now.
It is time to flood the senate with phone calls before the first vote on fast track (trade promotion authority) that would allow the president to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other harmful rigged corporate agreements into law before Congress or the people see them. We have an excellent chance of stopping fast track and we must stop it, but to do so, people need to call their senators and tell everyone they know to do the same. (Call your senators, tell them “no” on fast track 202-224-3121).
With the Iran bill finished more quickly than expected, the senate will move to vote on fast track legislation next week. Get ready. We must show that the opposition which has been building for years has the power to defeat fast track.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has promised to make an effort to delay the vote until after the Patriot Act and highway infrastructure legislation are resolved. His procedural vote is scheduled on Tuesday at 2:30. If Reid succeeds in blocking a vote on fast track from going forward, then the fast track vote will be delayed until June (at least in the senate). Reid has also said Senate Democrats would block consideration of fast track unless all four Finance-passed bills were considered as part of the same piece of legislation, including Trade Adjustment Assistance for those who lose their jobs due to trade agreements.Proponents of the TPP are pushing now because the White House and Republican leadership need some momentum going into the much tougher House vote and they fear grass roots pressure will build if there is no vote before Memorial Day.
Obama and Reid are fighting each other for every Democratic vote. The Hill reports “Obama met Wednesday with Sens. Chris Coons (Del.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) at the White House, and urged them to back his trade agenda.” Feinstein says she found Obama’s sales pitch persuasive. But, Bill Nelson who we thought was supporting fast track says he is undecided on whether the senate should proceed to a vote on fast track and may side with Reid. Despite the pressure and intense Obama lobbying, Democratic swing votes are not saying which way they will go.
Politico reports “at least six Senate Democrats would be needed to advance the bill, and top GOP senators are counting on some defections from their own ranks. Republicans say Democrats need to cough up at least a dozen votes on Tuesday.” Further, “McConnell’s chief deputy, Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, put up a major warning flare on Thursday that Obama needs to keep working until Tuesday’s vote: He said Republicans need 15 Democrats to vote with them, far above earlier estimates that Obama and Republicans need about 10 Democrats to overcome any opposition from the right.”
Politico also reports that Senator Ron Wyden is on Reid’s side in this procedural vote, writing about a Democratic meeting on Thursday: “On Thursday, Wyden pushed other Senate Democrats to hold out for the broader trade package during a closed-door party lunch – urging lawmakers not to vote with Republicans to advance the legislation without an agreement to do all four bills, two Democratic sources said. One person familiar with the meeting said Wyden’s plea was met with applause.”
On the Republican side, Breitbart reports only two senators have read the TPP and neither is supportive. One senator, Jess Sessions (R-AL), has been ringing the alarm to other Republican senators. He recently wrote a five page letter to fellow Republican senators to warn that they were giving up their constitutional responsibility to ensure trade would be good for the economy, good for jobs and wages writing: “It must improve the quality of life, the earnings, and the per-capita wealth of everyday working Americans. The sustained long-term loss of middle class jobs and incomes should compel all lawmakers to apply added scrutiny to a ‘fast-track’ procedure wherein Congress would yield its legislative powers and allow the White House to implement one of largest global financial agreements in our history…” He warned about giving Obama more power with “recurring pattern of sidestepping the law, the Congress, and the Constitution.”
Sessions also raises a “critical alert” emphasizing how passing fast track and then TPP means the United States is “ceding sovereign authority to international powers.” He points out that the TPP is a so-called “living agreement” meaning the deal could be changed by other countries and the president without congressional approval whatsoever. The president could add China to the deal without any review or approval by Congress.
We can stop fast track and the TPP. We must do so to save jobs, protect our wages, food safety, internet freedom, right to protect our communities and more. In fact, the trade journal, Inside Trade, is predicting that it is “unlikely that congressional leaders will meet their goal of having Congress pass a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill before it recesses on May 22 . . .” They report that some in the House are saying, it may not be until mid-June for the House to consider it.
We are asking you to flood the senate with phone calls! Go to www.StopFastTrack.com for an easy tool that helps you reach your senators.
After you call your senator, reach out to your friends and neighbors and urge them to call.
And if you want to know more about fast track and the TPP before you call, visit www.FlushtheTPP.org and click on the “News” or “Tools” sections; and take the pledge to stay informed. This is the people against multinational corporate power. We can’t afford to lose. Act now.
This is a political battle the people can win. We are taking on the largest and most powerful corporate leadership, as well as President Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress. Even with all of this against us, the people are winning an these Trojan Horse trade agreements that hide a corporate power grab can be defeated.