Good news: On Friday 6/12, the House halted H.R. 1314, the Trade Act of 2015 which includes Fast Track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Bad news: The House is slated to vote again on Tuesday 6/16 on the Title II of H.R. 1314 (the TAA), the portion that failed to pass on Friday.
Here’s what happened: H.R. 1314 was originally a tax exemption bill passed by the House; the Senate gutted it and replaced it with the “Trade Act of 2015”. On Friday, the House decided to vote on the two parts of this revised bill separately. The first vote rejected an inadequately-funded and exclusionary Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program for displaced workers. The second vote was on the Fast Track process itself, called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Both parts needed to pass for the bill to pass. The TPA was approved [219 to 211], but the TAA was not [126 to 302] – killing the bill, at least for a moment.
But after the vote, Speaker Boehner called for a re-vote on TAA, which will happen early this week. The Obama Administration, the GOP leadership, and large corporations are frantically making deals and lobbying House members to change their vote. So we must keep the pressure on!
Even if you have used the fax petition or called before, please do so again today or tomorrow and urge your U.S. Representative to vote NO when TAA comes back to the floor. A job retraining program is not a good reason to rubber-stamp massive trade agreements that will cause those job losses in the first place! As if that weren’t bad enough, the TAA program excludes public sector workers whose jobs are offshored. It’s not even fully funded, and much of its funding comes from cuts to Medicare.
The Fast Track authority contained in the Trade Act of 2015, would allow dangerous trade agreements like the TPP to be rushed through Congress, circumventing ordinary review, amendment and debate procedures. It is a virtual rubber-stamp for trade deals that threaten our economy, our environment, and our sovereignty.
Like all past trade deals, the TPP would send American jobs overseas where work can be done cheaply and under weak environmental oversight. It’s even worse than previous agreements because it also includes a key provision that would allow foreign companies to sue the U.S. over laws that they claim would hurt their profits–like Buy Local preferences or labeling GMOs. Federal, state and local laws could be struck down by international courts in the name of corporate profits!
With the Fast Track, Congress is being asked to green light a trade deal that the public hasn’t even been allowed to read.
Please help us protect our economy and our sovereignty! Take action below!
TAKE ACTION #2 – Call Your U.S. Rep.
Please follow up the FAX petition, and call your U.S. Representative toll-free at 888-804-8311 and urge him or her to vote NO on the TAA and Fast Track.
You’ll be asked for your zip code and the phone system will connect you with your Representative’s office. See the Sample Script below.
SAMPLE SCRIPTFor Calls
My name is ___ and I am a constituent. I am calling to urge my Representative to vote NO on both the TAA and Fast Track. Fast tracking trade agreements will harm American workers and consumers, and undermine our sovereignty.
You can look up who represents you and find a link to their website at www.house.gov
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and artisan food producers while protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods. Learn more About Us or check out the FTCLDF 2013 Summary.