Pelosi's Office Offers Rude Response to Anti–Fast Track Callers
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE:
Fast Track fizzles in the House
As you recall, the way the thing was structured, with the House having to pass exactly the same bill the Senate did in order to get it onto the president's desk, a snag in any piece of the legislative puzzle meant the whole thing falls apart, at least for now. And as the NY Times's Jonathan Weisman wrote this afternoon:
In a remarkable rejection of a president they have resolutely backed, House Democrats voted to kill assistance to workers displaced by global trade, a program their party created and has stood by for four decades. By doing so, they brought down legislation granting the president trade promotion authority — the power to negotiate trade deals that cannot be amended or filibustered by Congress — before it could even come to a final vote.House Republicans meanwhile swear that their battle isn't over, and I for one am prepared to believe them.-- Ken
“We want a better deal for America’s workers,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader who has guided the president’s agenda for two terms and was personally lobbied by Mr. Obama until the last minute.
Republican leaders tried to muster support from their own party for trade adjustment assistance, a program they have long derided as an ineffective waste of money and sop to organized labor. But not enough Republicans were willing to save the program. . . .
A look at how near the 2016 elections are
by Gaius Publius
Nancy Pelosi is a Yes on Fast Track. Need more evidence? We now hear multiple reports that members of CREDO Action, a San Francisco-based progressive organization, are calling Pelosi's office in large numbers — and being treated abruptly and rudely.
Some detail. First from CREDO's Twitter feed:
The number of calls must be much higher by now. The action on the progressive side is fast and furious — enough so that the opposition is starting to sound fearful of a loss:
Obama trade agenda in troubleThere are more stories like these now coming out, at Plum Line for example.
The package is facing potentially fatal opposition among House Democrats on the eve of a vote.
President Barack Obama’s push for a large-scale trade deal with the Pacific Rim is in serious jeopardy, as House Democratic opposition to his top legislative agenda is growing on Capitol Hill.
Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to bring a package of trade bills to the House floor Friday is proving to be a big gamble, as both senior Republicans and Democrats are privately wondering whether they will be able to first clear a procedural hurdle, then pass Trade Adjustment Assistance, a program to help workers who lose their jobs due to free trade.
The internal struggle for Democrats was evident Thursday in the Capitol complex, when White House officials and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka both addressed lawmakers in a closed meeting....
Back to Pelosi, here are some of those call reports (emphasis in original):
"As soon as I started talking, the staff member dumped me into voicemail. Rudely."A few takeaways. One, this is how you know Pelosi is a Yes. There should be no doubt.
"A real person answered the phone but switched me to voice mail before I could finish saying my name. I left the message but fear it will be deleted before being heard. Good luck."
"The staff person rudely shifted me over to voice mail. Is that how Pelosi does everything and everyone who is not wealthy?"
"guy at WDC was short and snotty. both offices directed me to a voice mail with no comment."
"Talked to a real person. When I stated the reason for my call, I was transferred to an answering machine."
"A staff member answered the phone and cut me off in the middle of a word to switch me to voicemail. I left a message, and the rest is in the lap of the gods."
"Bullshit. I got a live human on the line and as soon as I asked if Pelosi was whipping votes to pass Fast Track I got put into voice mail. I left a message that she should stop betraying the Working People of our country and oppose Fast Track and the TPP altogether."
Two, this lack of control smacks of frustration — which means the deal may be in trouble after all. Congratulations. Maybe she needs more callers, just to help drive the point home? If you feel inspired, you'll find her at (202) 225-4965 or (415) 556-4862. Operators are standing by, for the first few seconds at least.
Three, CREDO callers aren't the only ones being treated this way. There are a number of progressive groups mobilizing members to call and write to Congress, including and especially to members like Leader Pelosi. Are they also being treated this badly? Anecdotally, yes — I've heard a number of similar stories.
Hundreds rallying against Fast Track at Nancy Pelosi's SF office
And finally, if you want to help, call now — this minute — and say you're watching this vote. Ask where the congressperson stands, then say if either TAA or TPA passes with their help, you'll find a way to express your unhappiness in 2016. Say lobbying as a career has a lot to offer.
Start with your own congressperson, Republican or Democrat, then consider one or two others: