18 June 2015

How did your representative vote on Obama's trade bills? 16JUN15

THE tpp will be worse than nafta for American workers no matter what obama, the third way democrats and the repiglicans say. It is a treaty crafted by and for corporate america, one that will not only make the rich richer, it will take more jobs from American workers and send them to countries where workers will be paid a fraction of American wages. The obama administration and all politicians of both parties supporting the tpp are liars. From +Daily Kos .....

How did your representative vote on Obama's trade bills?

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Last Friday, House Democrats wrenched President Obama's trade agenda to an unexpected, though perhaps temporary, halt. Obama had asked Congress to pass a bill that would grant him so-called "Trade Promotion Authority" (TPA), better known as "fast-track." This legislation would allow the president to conclude a controversial trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim nations without giving Congress the chance to amend it; only an up-or-down vote would be permitted on the deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Many Democrats, supported by organized labor and progressive activists, are hostile to the TPP (the trade accord), and therefore are hostile to TPA (fast-track). Some Republicans are opposed as well, enough to require John Boehner to cobble together a bipartisan coalition to bring TPA to fruition. So in an attempt to win over votes from unhappy Democrats, the House required that TPA (which is favored by most Republicans) pass in concert with another piece of legislation called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).
TAA helps retrain workers, so Democrats typically like it while Republicans deride it as welfare. But smart progressives knew that tanking TAA would also stop TPA, at least for the moment, so Democrats voted against TAA en masse. GOP leadership then staged a show vote on TPA, but even though it carried a majority, it didn't pass because of the pre-arranged requirement that both laws stand or fall together.
The map above shows how Democrats cast their votes on both roll calls. Districts highlighted in yellow show Democrats who voted for both TAA and TPA, which is the position Obama lobbied for; still, only 27 members of his party stuck with him. Green shows those who voted for TAA but not TPA, the classic liberal position. Obama actually encouraged this stance, because he knew Republicans would provide enough votes to get TPA through as long as TAA passed, and he figured (or hoped) Democrats would be willing to take the good (TAA) with the bad (TPP). But TAA was a small sop at best, and only 13 Democrats were willing to play along.
Pink shows the typical Republican position, a vote for TPA but against the TAA "give-away." (Just one Democrat landed in this box, the baffling Rubén Hinojosa.) Finally, blue shows the strategic progressive position of voting against both TAA and TPA, which most House Democrats adopted (143 in total). (Click here to match names to districts.)
Have a peek below the fold and you'll see how the Republicans voted.

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Republicans were far less united than Democrats. A large number (81), concentrated in the industrial Midwest, voted as Obama preferred (for both TPA and TAA), but the plurality of Republicans (109) voted for TPA but against TAA, their expected position. Most notable, however, is the substantial number of Republicans (49) colored in blue, meaning they voted the same way as progressives. The reasoning behind this stance on the Republican side can be found in tea party principles: the idea that more power should not be given to the executive, particularly when he's named Barack Obama, no matter what the business lobby says. Indeed, liberal groups lobbied Republicans with conservative rhetoric in their attempt to weave together a coalition opposed to fast-track trade.
What happens next is unclear, but for now, supporters of the TPA and the TPP (yes, these acronyms can get confusing) are scrambling, while opponents have declared at least a provisional victory.

To learn more about the map used in the post, click here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jun 16, 2015 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.