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.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association