Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

From the Teamsters Twitter feed: "#Teamsters stand strong w/ 1,200 union members now to say #StopFastTrack & #TPP" (Photo: @Teamsters/Twitter)

Progressives Take Stand as Fast Track Fight Kicks into High Gear on Capitol Hill

'The grassroots movement against Fast Track is nationwide,' says activist

Deirdre Fulton

With legislation to speed up congressional approval of the Trans Pacific Partnership and other corporate-friendly trade deals on the verge of being introduced in Congress, a coalition of elected officials, labor unions, and environmental groups gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to voice their vehement opposition to such a bill.

The Hill reported Tuesday that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was "optimistic" about introducing 'Fast Track' legislation as early as Wednesday—the same day an estimated 1,000 labor and environmental activists converged in Washington, D.C. to spread the message: "Stop Fast Track."

"The voices of workers will be in the halls of Congress and at our rally to declare U.S. trade deals have been nothing more than broken promises of lost jobs and closed factories that are wiping out middle class American families," said United Steelworkers president Leo W. Gerard.

U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio); as well as AFL-CIO executive vice president Tefere Gebre and Sierra Club national campaign director Debbie Sease, were among those who rallied against Fast Track and the TPP on Wednesday.

"The grassroots movement against Fast Track is nationwide—and it’s not just labor," Celeste Drake, the AFL-CIO's trade policy specialist, told The Hill. "It's folks from the environmental, consumer, faith, farm, business and good governance communities as well. And we're having an impact."

As Common Dreams reported Tuesday, Democratic support for Fast Track is dwindling, with just 15 House Democrats on the record as being in favor of the legislation.

And according to The Nation on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, came out publicly as opposing Fast Track.

The AFL-CIO is also preparing for a national Day of Action to Stop Fast Track, scheduled to take place on Saturday.

Stay informed about Wednesday's actions by following #StopFastTrack on Twitter:

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

'A Devastating Failure': Eviction Ban Expires as House Goes on Vacation and Biden Refuses to Act

"We’re now in an eviction emergency," said Rep. Cori Bush. "Eleven million are now at risk of losing their homes at any moment. The House needs to reconvene and put an end to this crisis."

Jake Johnson ·

With Election Days Away, Bernie Sanders Headlines Get-Out-the-Vote Rally for Nina Turner

In his keynote speech, Sanders said corporate interests are pulling out all the stops to defeat Turner because "they know that when she is elected, she is going to stand up and take them on in the fight for justice."

Jake Johnson ·

Bush, Pressley, and Omar Sleep Outside Capitol to Demand Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Rep. Cori Bush, who was formerly unhoused, slammed her Democratic colleagues who "chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes."

Jake Johnson ·

As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·

Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

"If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities, needlessly contributing to more death and destruction."

Brett Wilkins ·