Boehner and Obama: Ramming Through “Rigged Trade”?

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Boehner and Obama: Ramming Through “Rigged Trade”?

WASHINGTON - Reuters reports: “A raging battle over President Barack Obama’s request for ‘fast-track’ authority central to improving U.S. ties with Asia resumes in the House of Representatives this week when lawmakers are expected to try to reverse Friday’s defeat of linchpin trade legislation. … The legislation is stuck in the House because of the defeat Obama and House Speaker John Boehner suffered on the first vote. … A House Republican aide told reporters Republican leaders hope to stage a vote again on Tuesday to pass the worker aid portion of the bill. That would allow the entire bill to be signed into law by Obama, but its chances were unclear.”

MARGARET FLOWERS, M.D., mdpnhp at gmail.com, @MFlowers8
KEVIN ZEESE, kbzeese at gmail.com, @kbzeese
Zeese and Flowers are with Popular Resistance, which is part of the Stop Fast Track coalition. They have organized the “Rebellion Against Rigged Trade”; between the Capitol Building and the House Office Buildings, activists are holding a “24 hour presence to protest trade agreements rigged for the biggest transnational corporations in the world.”

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“Elected officials are receiving tens of thousands of calls from constituents opposing fast track trade authority and we want them to see that people opposed to this undemocratic approach to passing laws are so dedicated they will stay outside 24 hours a day. Elected officials need to know the anger of their constituents is deep and that if Members vote for fast track, there will be serious political repercussions. We remember the impact that NAFTA had on elections. The people will not let Congress destroy their rights to protect the health and safety of their communities,” said Flowers.

“The grassroots from across the political spectrum is mobilized against fast track for rigged trade. One reason the Republican leadership is rushing to a vote, even though they do not know if they have a majority, is because they fear elected officials being home another weekend hearing directly from constituents and they do not want another week of tens of thousands of phone calls coming in to D.C.,” said Zeese.

ALAN TONELSON, ATonelson at aol.com, @alantonelson
Tonelson is author of The Race to the Bottom: Why A Global Worker Surplus and Uncontrolled Free Trade are Sinking American Living Standards. His recent pieces include “Trade deals have been both growth and recovery killers.” He regularly writes on trade and other issues on his RealityChek blog. His most recent piece there is “Thoughts on the Fast Track Trade Vote — Including Where Hillary Now Stands.”

MICHAEL BRUNE, via Dan Byrnes, daniel.byrnes at sierraclub.org, @sierraclub
Brune is executive director of the Sierra Club. See the group’s webpage on Fast Track: sierraclub.org/trade/fast-track.

PATRICK WOODALL, pwoodall at fwwatch.org, @foodandwater
Woodall is research director and senior policy advocate for Food & Water Watch. See their resources on Fast Track, including a video on how the Trans Pacific Partnership hurts American families: foodandwaterwatch.org/global/global-trade/fast-track-and-tpp.

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