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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Stopping the TPP (still ticking)

[Ron Kind won another term as Republidem representative from Wisconsin's Third Congressional District in the August  primary (where Bernie handily won a majority in April - where were the Bernie voters in August?) when, with no Republican on the ballor, he defeated Myron Buchholz with 81% of 13% (about 10%) of the voters. We can at least write in Myron Buchholz on our fall ballots to show opposition to the TPP. Cha nces are, the great compromiser Obama will give away the store to get the TPP passed in the lame duck session. More proof that what the majority of people want is not usually what we get in our deMOCKracy.]

Reprinted from The Daily Call, 10-12-16:

Get Ready For What’s Coming Up: We Still Have To Fight The TPP

The fight is in the House, where Paul Ryan is working behind the scenes to try to put the votes together to pass it.

By Scott Galindez
Reader Supported News (10/9/16)
Many of you have heard Paul Ryan say the votes are not there in the House to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring it up for a vote in the Senate. Larry Cohen, the past president of the Communications Workers of America and current chair of the board of Our Revolution, is not so sure.
Cohen doesn’t trust McConnell and he told RSN that Ryan is seeking the votes. They don’t say it publicly since there is a very important election coming up. Opposition to the TPP comes from progressive populism and right-wing reactionary populism. So Democrats supporting the TPP face opposition on their left and Republicans face opposition on their right.
The election in November is the big reason there hasn’t been a public push for votes on the largest trade deal ever. Publicly, both presidential campaigns oppose the TPP. With Hillary Clinton we have to wonder if this is an example of her “public position” while privately she supports it. For Trump, it is a nationalist reactionary movement that he is trying to tap into.
What this sets up is a behind-the-scenes push to get the votes in a lame duck session. GOP leaders want the TPP. The leader of the Democratic Party, President Barack Obama, wants the TPP. If they can ram it through Congress in the lame duck session after the election, then the next president’s hands are clean, and the leaders of the two major parties get to deliver a gift to those they really represent, corporate America.
Food and Water Watch describes the TPP as the following:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed trade agreement between the United States and eleven Pacific Rim countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam). If Congress approves this controversial deal, it would not only harm workers and the environment, it could unravel hard-won national and local policies on fracking, food safety, the environment and local democratic autonomy. The rules of the TPP game are rigged for corporations, making it easier to use trade rules to undermine and unravel these domestic safeguards.
Here are just a few ways the TPP would harm our food, our water and our democracy:
    • The TPP grants corporations special rights to sue over policies the companies claim hurt their profits — demanding cash damages for public health, environmental safeguards, consumer protections or local fracking bans that corporations don’t like.
    • The past free trade deals have cost millions of good jobs and contributed to the growing economic inequality in America and the TPP would make it easier to offshore and outsource more jobs.
  • The big food and agribusiness companies will try to use the TPP to weaken U.S. food safety rules and inspection at the border, potentially exposing people to unsafe imports.
Those are just a few of the problems we face with the TPP. If this is true, why does President Obama want the trade deal so badly? Cohen says he is not a psychologist but he thinks it is a legacy thing. He thinks the president is looking for another major accomplishment. The gridlock in Washington has prevented Obama from accomplishing most of his agenda, so the TPP would be a major accomplishment.
How Do We Stop It?
According to Cohen, the votes are there to pass the TPP in the Senate. He is not optimistic that, if McConnell backs down and allows a vote, we can stop it. He believes the fight is in the House, where Paul Ryan is working behind the scenes to try to put the votes together to pass it. Cohen said they got 60 votes in the Senate to pass fast track and they only need 5o votes to approve the TPP, because the vice president would vote for it.
In the House, most Democrats oppose the TPP. Representatives at the Congressional District level are usually influenced by organized labor, so it will be hard for Obama to sway most Democrats. Twenty-eight Democrats voted in favor of the TPP last year. They are:
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Susan Davis (CA-53)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
James Himes (CT-04)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Gregory Meeks (NY-05)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15)
Eddie Johnson (TX-30)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Gerald Connolly (VA-11)
Donald Beyer (VA-08)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)p
Ron Kind (WI-03)
If your Representative is on that list, let them know that you oppose their position and call on them to vote against it.
If your Representative is not on the list, they need to hear from you that you appreciate their principled position. Let them know that you have their back. They will be pressured by corporate lobbyists and the White House to approve the deal.
Our Revolution has made stopping the TPP a priority in the coming months. They have also launched a campaign on climate change that will oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. Josh Fox is touring the country and leading that fight.
Larry Cohen is traveling the country building opposition to the TPP. We must not allow a lame duck session vote to take place. On Thursday night, Cohen was in Des Moines for a town hall meeting sponsored by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Below is the entire meeting filmed by RSN and streamed by Political Revolution TV.

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