Today the Senate voted on whether to debate Fast Track on the Senate Floor. Votes fell short, a huge victory for Senators who have been critical of Fast Track, like Senator Harry Reid and Senator Elizabeth Warren, as well as grassroots organizers. Citizens and activists have been calling and writing their Senators and Representatives and demonstrating in the streets. Those protests have been heard!
The procedural vote today, known as cloture, blocks the current Fast Track bill from being debated on the Senate floor, but does not kill Fast Track outright. It does, however, send a strong signal that President Obama will not be given a blank check on trade deals.
Among the Senators blocking Fast Track today were a handful who are committed to trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), but want to see certain provisions in place first.
Because the critics of Fast Track and TPP are most concerned with the process (TPP has been negotiated by secret with large corporations and their lobbyists at the head of the table) as well as elements that are known or suspected to be included (such as Investor State Dispute Settlement, which allows corporations to sue governments if they feel the government impedes their ability to make a profit), this is a good time for President Obama to open up the process and the text of the TPP.
Before Fast Track is taken up again, we need a full analysis of what we would be Fast Tracking. Tell President Obama to show us the text of the TPP.
Posted on May 12th 2015