President Bush loses his power today to seal fast track trade agreements without intervention from Congress, where Democrats blame recent deals for sending U.S. jobs abroad.
Since 1975, only one other president, Bill Clinton, has been stripped of that trade promotion authority, designed to speed the reduction of trade barriers and open new markets with other countries. Bush won’t get it back again, and the next president might not either.
House Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, whose Ways and Means Committee handles trade policy, said in a written statement Friday that their legislative priorities “do not include the renewal of fast track authority.”
Make no mistake, this is a MAJOR victory for the middle class in this country and was only possible because of the Democratic takeover of Congress. This is what I wanted to see. This is what the Democratic party is supposed to stand for. When Charles "NAFTA" Rangel starts to come around you know the times are a changin.
I've had a whole series of posts discussing the problems of international trade and specifically renewing the President's trade promotion authority (i.e. fast track):
The current state of our trade deficit and the wage stagnation of the middle class makes Fast Track one of these issues. For those that don't know, Fast Track (aka Trade Promotion Authority) allows the President to negotiate trade agreements that Congress cannot amend or filibuster.
The last two administrations have consistently used this authority to undermine Americans' interest by negotiating "free trade" agreements that can certainly not be labeled as free trade and are patently unfair to American workers and companies. The result has been a trade deficit that has ballooned to $60 Billion/month and is a direct threat to the future prosperity of this country.
Currently, Fast Track is set to expire on June 30 and there is sure to be vigorous debate leading up that deadline. The Democratic party MUST stand with the people and VOTE NO to reauthorizing this disastrous authority to a disastrous President.
Well today is June 30th and I am ecstatic that the Democratic leadership came to their senses. Today is a great day and despite my previous threats I am still an official member of the Democratic party:
Well I've had enough, and if they continue down this path then I will no longer support the Democratic party. It doesn't mean that I won't support certain candidates but I cannot and will not prop up a party that only serves to undermine this country and its citizens.
The DLC and its supporters can go to hell...
I'm back on board, now crank up the populist rhetoric and let's keep the ball rolling. Next up, China...