TPP Suffers A Major Defeat As Senate Democrats Block Fast Track Trade Authority


Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) handed a big win to the opponents of TPP by getting Senate Democrats to block fast track trade authority from moving forward.

The final vote was 52-45 with all Democrats voting no.

Before the vote, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that he was opposing moving the bill forward because the package that Mitch McConnell put on the floor for a vote only contained two of the four trade bills and did not contain a level playing field for American workers.

Sen. Bernie Sanders ran down the litany of bogus claims made by supporters of free trade in the past and said, “And now … the administration says trust us. Forget about those other trade agreements. The TPP is special. This time it will be different. This one really will create jobs, despite the fact that every major organization representing the working people of this country says the exact opposite. The TPP would force American workers to compete against desperate workers in Vietnam who make 56 cents an hour. We have got to do better than that‎.”

The vote was a setback for John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and President Obama. The bill is expected to pass the Senate eventually, but it remains dozens of votes short of the number needed in the House.

Today’s vote was a major victory for TPP opponents because it gives them another month to organize opposition to the bill. Trying to convince Democrats who have seen the damage done by NAFTA and other agreements that TPP will different has been an impossible task for President Obama.

Democrats are never going to support TPP, and dozens of House Republicans will never support anything that gives President Obama more executive authority.

Senate Democrats have demonstrated once again that Republicans may have the majority, but they hold the power.

51 Replies to “TPP Suffers A Major Defeat As Senate Democrats Block Fast Track Trade Authority”

  1. Harry Reid did say he would defeat it if the turtle didn’t move on highway funding and one other thing, I forgot but it had something to with jobs.

  2. I would rather wait for a final deal before I pan it or give it a thumbs up, there is a lot of information that is false and a lot of people who have no idea what in it or what it’s all about are against it-they have no idea what they are against

    I’ll wait for a final deal and decide…

  3. No difference in how other trade deals of the past have been negotiated. My question is, why do people want this president, particularly, to negotiate do it differently?

    My guess is, they don’t trust this man. I mean, he’s always negotiated deals that’s hurt the American people, the American economy, and the uninsured in this country – oh wait!

  4. How do you know? You don’t. You’re listening to rhetoric and hearsay and that’s not what Liberals or Progressives do.

    Shame on you.

  5. WoooHOOOO!

    We can keep the status quo! That means we can keep the disastrous NAFTA and CAFTA provisions all in place – unchanged!

    Guatemala can continue to murder union workers with impunity! Environmental rights can continue to be disregarded without repercussions! Slave wages can continue to siphon jobs from the United States! WoooHOOOO. Because that’s the result now that Asian countries have zero confidence that this president of the United States has the credibility to negotiate any deal with them – and unscrupulous corporations as well as China win over America! WooooHOOOO!

    This is a SAD day in America. The ONE president we have every reason to trust is being treated like a leper by our corporate owned Congress and Keystone Pipeline lovin’ unions.

  6. Any political “deal” negotiated in secret will, more often than not, be detrimental to the common man. If we are not allowed to read it, and if I’m not allowed to read it today, I have asked my senators, Murray and Cantwell, to vote no on this bill.

  7. The TPP would force American workers to compete against desperate workers in Vietnam who make 56 cents an hour. We have got to do better than that‎.”

    HELLO Bernie! What the hell do you think is happening NOW?! That’s why this TPP was so important and so necessary! My god, but this man is so full of himself that he’s gone completely BLIND.

    Without the TPA, President Obama has NO authority to negotiate the best deal possible for the American worker, and the disastrous status quo – NAFTA and CAFTA – remain in force.

    And as for those “major organizations representing the working people” – I assume he means UNIONS – has he forgotten that the AFL-CIO and the Brotherhood of Teamsters were pushing HARD for passing the Keystone XL Pipeline bill?? The very one President Obama vetoed because it’s too dangerous to our environment? I guess they got their revenge today, didn’t they?

  8. Voting down isn’t gonna change the fact that a lot of people don’t even know what they’re against-I’ll wait until the final product

    Do people honestly believe this president would undo his life work of helping the poor and middle class? SMH

  9. We stopped Fast Track Authority. The root problem of the TPP and TAFTA is that 85% of the people developing the language of these trade pacts were the miscreants of Corporate America and/or their LOBBYISTS.

  10. Truth, but don’t whine about debate and then vote to not allow debate-I’ve lost respect for a lot of the players in this, the innuendos against PO is uncalled for, especially since some of their arguments have been exposed as false

    This deal is gonna happen regardless, better to be at the table instead of playing catch-up…I’m still gonna wait for the final deal to decide support or not …

  11. Let me rephrase: why all the hush hush, from the Media?

    2 years and the media does it’s level best to ignore it all?

  12. The problem with the TPP is the corporate tribunals. Corporations would have had the right to sue countries for doing things that impede free trade, thus stepping over their sovereignty.

    The TPP needs lots of tweaks. Don’t be sad for the rejection of the fast track. It needs work first.

  13. You progressives and liberals should know better than to tell the rest of us liberals and progressives what to think and act! Some of us Black progressives just left the Green Party because Ralph Nadet’s bunch told us not to whine about wealth equality! So, don’t you start!

  14. As much as I like Bernie and Elizabeth, I disagree with them on this. No one knows what the final draft is yet, since there isn’t one. They are going off of the past and giving President Obama no credit for ever having our back. What is a disappointment to me is how quickly many fellow progressives have tossed President Obama aside over this. I would still vote for Sanders if he got the nomination, but I think he and Warren are wrong in coming out so strongly against this without full information. I hope if the time comes to eat crow, that they can do it after all the hype. I for one am not going to be like a bagger and lose my mind over something which I know nothing about, except that it is a trade deal, and trade deals have screwed us in the past.

  15. Well, let me tell you what is Realy going on: India, most of the EU, Russia, Mexico, a growing part of Latin America and parts of Africa are fighting against austerity Dominionists economica and rape of the planet! They know their enemies and are quick to call them to the bar! After rejecting the corruption that ravaged most of the country, India brought lawsuits against, Kmart, Bendelton, and Monsanto! Mexico has just reignited their drug wars( maybe that is why TEXAS is so nervous! Their ex junkies want them to stay on THEIR side of the border! They too sued Monsanto! In Alberta(Canadian for Texas eh) they just dumped their first Kock fed Govenor’s! That is what’s going on! We need to look outside the ivory towers!

  16. A helluva lot better! You must think we forgot about the Bush years!… Wait! Your stock went under. Here is a tip: don’t invest in crooked banks. Elizabeth and Bernie want the crooks in jail!

  17. Nobody “knows” whats in the bill. There has only been a few excerpts released on wikileaks and already its clear that this bill is an enemy to the interests on any American citizen.

    Why do you place so much trust in a bill where “If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving. And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.”

    where “Unless your a member of the 28 U.S. government-appointed trade advisory committees providing advice to the U.S. negotiators. The committees with the most access to what’s going on in the negotiations are 16 “Industry Trade Advisory Committees,” whose members include AT&T, General Electric, Apple, Dow Chemical, Nike, Walmart and the American Petroleum Institute.”

    Why pass a bill you can not read?

  18. If we want to change past bad trade deals, directly change them, don’t give us another even more horrible trade deal.

  19. The bill is expected to pass the Senate eventually
    Let’s just savor the moment because there’s no burn like an epic burn.

    I only have one question…

    How the hell did I end up pinning my hopes on Elizabeth Warren?

  20. Our representatives in Congress were not allowed to see the treaty, except in total secrecy. They weren’t allowed to discuss what was in it with their constituents. How can We the People govern if we aren’t allowed to know what we are having our representatives vote on? We would only be allowed to know what was in it if there had been a Fast Track deal done, and then it would only allow an up or down vote. There would be no discussion, no debate, no change allowed. This is NOT the way we are supposed to work. That would be like applying for a job, and not being able to know what the pay was until after you had been hired, or what your duties would be.

  21. We the people govern? We need to see what’s in it?People probably couldn’t name their state representative much less their congressman

  22. How do you know the TPP is a “horrible trade deal”? Because Elizabeth Warren said so? You do know that she’s voted for Reagan TWICE and Poppy Bush as well, and was a Republican until well into her 40’s, right? You’d trust her over the word of President Barack Obama who’s been a Democrat all this life and who’s actually accomplished incredible feats for the American worker and American economy?

    Or maybe you believe AFL-CIO’s Trumka’s fear-mongering of the TPP? You do know that his union together with Hoffa’s Brotherhood of Teamsters lobbied hard to get the Republican Keystone XL Pipeline bill through, yes? You know? The bill President Obama VETOED because it would harm the environment and create a tiny fraction of permanent jobs? ‘member?

    So you’d trust Elizabeth Warren’s and the unions’ fearmongering over President Obama’s word?

    Really? And why is that, sally?

  23. Exactly! But that fear-mongering “we need to see what’s in it111!!!” works well for fundraising, doesn’t it?

    Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders know damn well that the majority of “we the people” can’t even name their local Mayor or State representatives, let alone understand the complexity of trade deals. Why in the HELL should I trust them over President Obama when they, unlike PBO, have done NOTHING for the American people?

    What EmoProgs are doing now, is punishing President Obama for the mistakes Reagan, Poppy Bush, Clinton, and Duhbya Bush have done. And it sickens me because it underscores the old adage that a Black man has to work twice as hard for half the credit. In President Obama’s case, he has to work ten times harder for ZERO credit.

  24. I, myself, am reserving my opinion on this partnership until it is revealed to the public to view.
    My only concern at this point in the discussion about the TPP, is that, the Republicans seem to want it. That aspect ALWAYS concerns me.

  25. TTIP and Ceta are far more than trade agreements. They help strengthen the power of transnational corporations and weaken democratic institutions. Attac promotes just trade instead of fair trade. Labor rights, environmental standards and democracy must have prioirity over one-sided trade interests. Attac does its utmost for political and economic conditions that set distribution justice and quality of life at the center, not blind growth at any price.

    The TTIP agreement between the EU and the US creates a parallel private arbitration system where corporations can sue states for lost profits and decisions are irrevocable. Labor and environmental regulations can be invalidated as “takings” or “indirect expropriation.” Public interest laws can be chilled or invalidated as infringements of the “human right to profit” of foreign investors.

    Fast Track, TPP and TTIP Should Be Scrapped!
    – See more at:,, http://www.freembtranslations.n...

  26. Oops! President Obama Vindicated on Trade by the Very Case Peddled by TPP Detractors

    Looking to manufacture a fight between President Obama’s administration and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, three top Huffington Post reporters announced with much fanfare on Wednesday that they found a passage in Clinton’s book that validates liberal fears – led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren – about the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process. They point to this passage from the book:

    “Currently the United States is negotiating comprehensive agreements with eleven countries in Asia and in North and South America, and with the European Union. We should be focused on ending currency manipulation, environmental destruction, and miserable working conditions in developing countries, as well as harmonizing regulations with the EU. And we should avoid some of the provisions sought by business interests, including our own, like giving them or their investors the power to sue foreign governments to weaken their environmental and public health rules, as Philip Morris is already trying to do in Australia. The United States should be advocating a level and fair playing field, not special favors. [Emphasis Huffpo’s]”
    Read More

  27. I quoted that from the book last week, but not here on this site.

    Wonky, articulate, scary smart, and right most of the time. That’s my girl.

    But, that isn’t what it is as of today. That is what it was, when she saw the details at the time, years ago.

    She has not seen it, presumably is not up to date on the devil in those details.

    They need to drag Hillary somewhere, they do not want Obama-Hillary to get all the attention. Go left Hillary, you are so corporate rightwing… gag.

  28. Hail Eris!

    I’m suspicious of it because Harper is a big fan of it, and that man is the most evil bastard to hold the PMO since Brian Mulroney (the Canadian PM behind CAFTA, and partly behind NAFTA, as I recall) was forced out. Also, because Obama isn’t enough of a reason, by himself, to support it blindly (and we are all being expected to give it blind support, without knowing what’s in it at all, until just before it’s finally voted on). What Hillary read of it, some years ago, isn’t enough, either. Obama may be bargaining in good faith, but that doesn’t mean he’ll emerge with a deal that fails to screw over US workers, or Canadians (I don’t rely on Harper for that, for even a second). No one wins all the time.

    Snarky, who fully intends to participate in ousting Harper, in five months (Lifelong NDP voter, here.)
    A much-discussed alternative to homogeneous big-bang nucleosynthesis has been the first-order quark-hadron phase-transition-inspired inhomogeneous model.

  29. This is NOT a victory for anyone who opposes the TPP. The Dems are doing the RIGHT THING for the WRONG REASON.

    The Dems blocking the vote are Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR); Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

    They are not blocking it because they are opposed to the TPP, or even that they are opposed to “Fast Track.” They are the “compromisers coalition.” They WANT Fast Track, and the TPP. They are just looking to get the most out of the GOP in exchange for it.

    Look at the names on that list. That is TEAM OBAMA. They are just using this “stinging rebuke of the President” as a smokescreen to hide the fact that they intend to give the President the “Fast Track” authority that he wants.

    But don’t take it from me. Take it from Ron Wyden, who said: “This is a group that is thoroughly committed to getting this bill passed.”

  30. Steve, that is very interesting and honestly, I am surprised it never occured to me, I must be losing my touch with so much BS being tossed all over the place.

    We can state our objectives, argue what we want it to have (labor, environment, overturning the issues of NAFTA, currency regs, etc.) but to have power with those demands there has to be a fight.

    It will pass the senate eventually, they all say it will. But then, what? They are woefully short in the house as of now. Is that a tactical ploy too? hmmmmmmmm.

    Lots more opposition and time before it hits desks of world leaders for signing.

    Politico thinks it is a meaningless trade revolt.

    The Dems are one big happy family under a big tent… most of the time.

  31. Steve, thanks. I looked it up and that makes tons of sense. They are holding out for the 4 provisions and will pass Fast Track if and when the Rs cave to their demands. And if it remains the same, with protections, the deal will be passed too.

    The whole sanderswarrendeblasio drama was grandstanding and self-promotion and credit grabbing. Just like Obama said and just like Hillary was wise to ignore.

    You can’t argue with every idiot idea thrown out there, it gets tiring debunking lies today.

  32. In the article Jason said

    “Democrats are never going to support TPP, and dozens of House Republicans will never support anything that gives President Obama more executive authority.”

    Is that what you meant to write? You also repeated the oft quoted notion that it would pass the Senate eventually, and to do that it would have to have D support.

    So is it that they will support it or that they will never support it?

    I’d wager it will pass but that is provided it changes and the sides of the aisle work together to solve a major issue facing our economy and do something before we are out of the game.

  33. Don’t bring THAT up! We’re having a tantrum and attacking Obama for no real reason, and you’re ruining it! lol

  34. I’m so disappointed in her! Her true colors are coming out and she’s intentionally fear-mongering and stirring up hate and distrust of this President, the man who can be credited for helping her get to where she is today. I thought she was one of the good ones, but what she’s pulling right now is despicable. Just another f’in backstabber.

  35. I keep hearing this, but no one ever elaborates on what they mean by it. What exactly has Hillary done that the hard left hates her so much? Did she give some speech I missed where she said corporations were awesome and we should give them all our money? Not snark, It’s a genuine question.

  36. You aren’t going to get the chance to know what’s in it until it has been passed and then it will be too late. Rule #1: Never trust a politician, corporation or special interests. The TPP will result in the loss of more American jobs to 3rd world countries and it will reduce our wages and benefits also. It gives corporations the right to sue anyone that interferes with their profits. It was written by corporate lobbyists so how in the world do you think is it going to benefit the American people?

  37. Not accurate. When and if the provisions are finished and the deal is decided on in a final version in the bill, it will be on display on the internet for all to see for months. Then they will vote.

    If fast track passes it will be an up or down vote.

    If fast track fails again, as it did the other day, then it will be open to changes by congress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.