Monday, June 01, 2015

Can Progressives Stop TPP Fast Track Authorization In The House? Grayson Says We Can If We Work Together


In recent days, you've probably heard the barrage of lies Wall Street's Chuck Schumer has manufactured in his vicious and bitter campaign against Alan Grayson's run for the open Florida Senate seat. Grayson is basically ignoring Schumer and the DSCC and going about his work on behalf of his Florida constituents. He has, for example, been leading the battle in the House to stop TPP Fast Track Authority. And today, he sent a pretty bold letter to his supporters on behalf of that battle:

Under the First Amendment, you have the right to petition your government to redress your grievances.

Now would be a good time to do that. Today.

According to public reports, the 18 Democratic Members of Congress listed below are leaning in favor of voting for "Fast Track," legislation that would prevent Congress from debating or amending whatever the Executive Branch calls a "trade bill." As a public service, we provide you their office phone numbers.

Rep. Ami Bera (New Dem-CA) - (202) 225-5716
Rep. Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA) - (202)225-3341
Rep. Jared Polis (New Dem-CO) - (202) 225-2161
Rep. Mike Quigley (New Dem-IL) - (202) 225-4061
Rep. John Delaney (New Dem-MD) - (202) 225-2721
Rep. Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE) - (202) 225-4155
Rep. Gregory Meeks (New Dem-NY) - (202) 225-3461
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR) - (202) 225-4811
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.) - (202) 225-0855
Rep. Kurt Schrader (New Dem-OR) - (202) 225-5711
Rep. Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN) - (202) 225-4311
Rep. Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX) - (202) 225-1640
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) - (202) 225-8885
Rep. Don Beyer (New Dem-VA) - (202) 225-4376
Rep. Gerry Connolly (New Dem-VA) - (202) 225-1492
Rep. Rick Larsen (New Dem-WA) - (202) 225-2605
Rep. Derek Kilmer (New Dem-WA) - (202) 225-5916
Rep. Ron Kind (New Dem-WI) - (202) 225-5506

Call one; call them all. Call as many as you want. Exercise your constitutional right to redress your grievances. Make them listen. (By the way, the system is rigged so that you can't send them an e-mail unless you are a constituent. So you have to call.)

Here are some things that you might explain to them about this bad bill:
(1) Our trade debt stands at eleven trillion dollars ($11,000,000,000,000.00). That's more than $35,000 for every human being in America-- including you. "Fast Track" would pave the way for new trade bills that would increase that. How are we ever going to pay that money back?

(2) Fast Track applies to whatever the Executive Branch calls a trade agreement, even if it has nothing to do with trade.

(3) Fast Track unconstitutionally restricts Congress from holding hearings, conducting investigations, debating a bill and offering amendments-- basically, its job. In fact, it could restrict each House Member to only 83 seconds of debate.

(4) No other bills get this special treatment-- not bills on taxes, or Social Security, or defense, or transportation, or healthcare. Nothing.

(5) Fast Track applies to trade bills that the Executive Branch hasn't even released to the public.

(6) None of the "standards" that Fast Track sets for trade agreements is enforceable-- not one single standard.
Alternatively, you can just say that you're tired of Middle Class America getting hosed. But whatever else you say, make sure you say this:

NO on Fast Track!

Blue America has a list of incumbents who are fighting for progressives values along with Grayson. Wall Street would like to defeat every one of them and several are already under attack from Wall Street Republicans and/or from Wall Street Democrats. Take a look at the list and please consider encouraging their fight against Fast Track with a contribution to their reelection campaigns.

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At 3:42 PM, Blogger Bruce Webb said...

Can you explain or define "Trade Debt"? Because for the life of me I can't think of anything to match that $11 tn to in real terms. The closest I can come to off the top of my head is some cumulative sum of "trade deficit" over a period of years. But that wouldn't really equate to any kind of "debt" that even in principle could be allocated per household ($35,000).

I say this as a general supporter of what I see as your side of the argument. I am not snarking here and I am willing to deploy this number. If I can get my head around it. Any help appreciated.

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try this, Bruce.

Walmart was once approximately 1% of the US GDP all by itself. Easily 90% of what Walmart sells comes from China (I'm being conservative). China is willing to accept dollars for the massive amount of goods they sell us. But do they buy anything the US makes? The few things which interest them are denied them due to national security restrictions. So they take all those dollars piling up over there, and send agents to the US to convert those representations of value into tangible assets. These tangible assets include companies, houses, and anything else that strikes the eye of an investor will lots of dollars and a sense that converting them needs to happen before too long.

So they get our houses, our businesses, maybe even our government (we already know they are for sale). We get cheap trinkets and shoddy clothing and other valueless items.

The real value of all of this is the trade debt. You got a cheap shirt, and they got your house.

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Dianne Foster said...

Just today Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (Wa-01) said she is voting for it. No surprise here, as we fair trade activists have been talking to a brick wall for the last 2 years. But keep on calling her anyway.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What'$ a word for $omeone who con$pire$ with foreign power$ to undermine the $overeignty of their country?


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