The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA, better known as Fast Track) giving President Obama what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) admitted is “an enormous grant of power, obviously, from a Republican Congress to a Democratic president.”
Following a week of high-pressure arm-twisting by President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the House passed the increasingly unpopular TPA bill by a vote of 218-208, with 28 Democrats jumping on the mostly-Republican pseudo “free trade” bandwagon.
This was the second time in less than a week that the House voted to approve the TPA bill that would give the president authority to rush his ObamaTrade trifecta of secret treaties — Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) — through Congress without the required checks and balances. On Friday, June 12, with a very similar bi-partisan coalition, the House voted 219-211 in favor of fast-track. However, on June 12, the House GOP leadership separated the TPA bill from another measure known as Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) that provides aid to those whose jobs are killed by trade. The latter was defeated.
Since the Senate had passed the TPA with the TAA attached, the House needed to pass both the TPA and TAA. House Democrats have historically favored TAA, but they joined with “rebel” Republicans on June 12 to vote down TAA in an attempt to kill Fast Track. Boehner and the GOP House leadership began taking immediate retribution against those Republican House members who had dared to cross Team Obama-Boehner by opposing the TPA and the secrecy that has exemplified the entire TPP/TTIP/TISA process.
Now the House version of the TPA must go back to the Senate, and President Obama and his Republican allies must convince enough Democrats to support a stand-alone TPA, with the promise that they will offer a TAA bill once TPA is passed. The political logrolling will now intensify, as Team Obama-McConnell turn up the heat to gain the votes they need. Undoubtedly, a lot of money will also exchange hands. As The New American reported the corporatist elites pushing the TPP/TTIP/TISA schemes, in essence, bought their Senate TPA votes with campaign donations, and most assuredly will duplicate those bribes, if needed, for a second TPA vote. A review of House campaign finance records will very likely show a similar pattern of bribery for the TPA votes.