Obama’s Base Is Uniting Against Him On Fast Track

Dave Johnson

Today 564 organizations released a joint letter to Congress, opposing fast-track trade promotion authority. The organizations cover the entire field of what would be considered President Obama’s “base” of supporters, including consumer, labor, environmental, democracy, family farm, health, education, human rights and any other kind of people-protecting, progressive-aligned group. (Click here to read the letter and see the list of organizations.)

Specifically, the letter urges Congress to oppose “The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” (HR 3830/S 1900), legislation which would revive the 2002 fast-track “trade promotion authority” mechanism that expired in 2007. The bill was introduced on January 9 without a Democratic sponsor in the House by Ways and Means Committee Chair David Camp (R-Mich.), and in the Senate by outgoing Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

“Income inequality and long-term unemployment are serious problems that the job-killing TPP would only worsen,” said Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign, which organized the letter. “Calling for Fast Track in the State of the Union would undercut positive proposals to battle growing income inequality and create middle class jobs which are expected to be the central focus of the President’s speech. As short-sighted as such a call would be, even more short-sighted would be for Congress members on either side of the aisle to answer it, as they’re the ones who would be dealing with the political repercussions this November.”

Campaign for America’s Future has joined in signing this letter.

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