Senate Republicans served their corporate masters today by blocking a bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that would have required that the details of trade deals be made public.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) blocked legislation from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday that could have complicated ongoing trade talks by demanding public disclosure of deals before they get “fast-track” status.
Warren and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pushed a measure that would have let the public see the details of a trade deal before lawmakers decide whether or not to designate it as fast-track, which allows for congressional approval by a simple majority vote and prohibits lawmakers from offering amendments.
But Hatch objected to her request, blocking Warren’s bill from passing. The trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation currently being considered by the Senate would require the president to have to post the details of any trade deal for 60 days before signing it.
Warren’s bill would have required that the details of trade agreements be made public before they are given fast track status. The difference is disclosure. If a president has to disclose the details before he/she gets fast track authority, the public would have a chance to weigh in on the deal.
The bill that is currently working its way through the Senate doesn’t contain a mechanism to allow people to mobilize against these agreements. Warren described the bill as, “The Trade Transparency Act would ensure that the public, experts, and the press can engage in meaningful debate over the terms of trade deals before Congress reduces its ability to shape, amend, or block those deals,” said Senator Warren. “Before Congress ties its hands on trade deals, the American people should be allowed to see for themselves whether these agreements are good for them.”
Senate Democrats are fighting the good fight, but the corporate Republican puppet masters denied Sen. Warren a vote on the floor.