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This is one of MoveOn.org’s semi-regular updates on our Run Warren Run effort and Senator Warren’s work to give all Americans a fighting chance.
TPP FAST-TRACK BILL EXPECTED TO FACE SENATE VOTE TODAY: Thanks in part to Senator Warren, the Fast-Track negotiating authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal has become a national progressive fight. The outcome of today’s vote in the Senate remains uncertain, but the legislation appears to face far higher hurdles in the House, where analysts estimate supporters are dozens of votes short of the total they need for passage.
“A vote scheduled for Tuesday on legislation that would grant him trade promotion authority, also known as “fast track,” has become mired in a procedural thicket,” reports The New York Times’ Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Jonathan Weisman, “with Democrats — many of them loyal to labor unions bent on killing the bill — vowing to oppose it.”
Just this morning, Sen. Warren joined NPR’s Steve Inskeep to discuss Fast-Track:
Look, I have three objections. The first is that the president is asking us to vote to grease the skids on a trade deal that has largely been negotiated, but that is still held in secret.
The second is that we know that corporations under this deal are going to get to sue countries for regulations they don’t like and that the decisions are not going to be made by courts, they’re going to be made by private lawyers.
And the third problem is that he wants us to vote on a six-year, grease-the-skids deal.
Here’s what Sen. Warren had to say in an interview with The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent this week in response to President Obama’s assertion that she is wrong on Fast-Track:
The president said in his Nike speech that he’s confident that when people read the agreement for themselves, that they’ll see it’s a great deal. But the president won’t actually let people read the agreement for themselves. It’s classified. … If the president is so confident it’s a good deal, he should declassify the text and let people see it before asking Congress to tie its hands on fixing it.
I understand that we want to be a nation that trades, that trade creates many benefits for us. But only if done on terms that strengthen the American economy and American worker. I should say the American family, because that’s what this is really about.
Sen. Warren also co-wrote an op-ed in today’s Boston Globe with Rep. Rosa DeLauro on the TPP:
The president argues that the TPP is about who will “write the rules” for 40 percent of the world’s economy — the United States or China. But who is writing the TPP? The text has been classified and the public isn’t permitted to see it, but 28 trade advisory committees have been intimately involved in the negotiations. Of the 566 committee members, 480, or 85 percent, are senior corporate executives or representatives from industry lobbying groups. Many of the advisory committees are made up entirely of industry representatives. A rigged process leads to a rigged outcome.
And WaPo’s Dana Milbank has an op-ed explaining “Why [Obama is] in danger of losing”:
The vast majority of lawmakers in his own party oppose him on trade legislation. Yet rather than accept that they have a legitimate beef, he shows public contempt for them. …
The rhetoric suggests that Obama has given up trying to persuade his fellow Democrats to join him in supporting “fast track” approval of the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and that he’s lashing out at them in anger. The fast-track legislation faces its first test Tuesday with a vote in the Senate, and it looks to be a squeaker. Even if the free-traders get the required 60 votes, supporters won’t have momentum going into a vote in the House, where the legislation faces a tougher slog.
Reuters’ Emily Stephenson has more on a joint letter signed by Sen. Warren to the U.S. Trade Representative cautioning against the impact of the TPP on American workers:
Warren joined with 13 other Democratic senators in writing to the U.S. Trade Representative to say countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Mexico should have to change their labor laws before getting any trade benefits.
“American workers cannot compete against workers in these countries where fundamental worker rights are not protected,” said the May 8 letter, released on Monday.
Meanwhile, President Obama’s speech at Nike this weekend underscored what the TPP threatens. Here’s MoveOn’s statement on the speech from campaign director Justin Krebs:
President Obama … paid a visit to the Oregon headquarters of Nike, a company with a history of moving manufacturing jobs overseas and poor labor practices. It was a fitting choice of a venue to push for fast-tracking a deal that could undermine U.S. workers, taxpayers, and our economy. … The president may say ‘Just Do It,’ but the American people say, ‘Don’t do it.’ Don’t choose corporate interests over American interests.
HAPPENING THIS MORNING: WARREN, DE BLASIO JOIN FORCES AT NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: Sen. Warren joins New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and economist Joseph Stiglitz for a Roosevelt Institute event on “rewriting the rules for the American economy.” More here.
ICYMI: REICH, MOVEON LAUNCH ‘BIG PICTURE’ IDEAS CAMPAIGN: Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich has teamed up with MoveOn.org Civic Action to launch a new multi-video, interactive campaign focused on advancing bold, progressive policy solutions. “These 10 ideas could save our economy for the many—not just the wealthy few. We’re offering common-sense solutions to the problems we face today and explaining why they’re necessary and important,” Reich said.
SENATOR WARREN’S MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE: