Progressive Breakfast for May 22

Morning Message

Make One More Call To Senators To Stop Fast Track

Please make one more call to your senators and let them know you do not want them to vote for the Fast Track bill ... Thursday the Senate voted 62-38 to halt debate soon after it began, with 13 “Democrats” joining Republicans to rush the process of pushing fast track through before the public can catch on that the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is being “greased.” ... It is very important to call your state’s two senators TODAY and let them know your feelings about rushing fast track through with little debate and almost no consideration of amendments.

Bipartisan Coalition Breaks Progressive Fast Track Filibuster

Fast track filibuster broken after Ex-Im Bank deal. The Hill: “Obama sought to help his own cause by calling [Sen. Maria] Cantwell during the vote in the Democratic cloakroom … Obama promised to press Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to schedule a vote on the Export-Import Bank reauthorization … McConnell promised Cantwell that he would schedule a vote next month on an amendment authorizing the Export-Import Bank. As soon as he did, Cantwell wheeled around and voted “Aye,” followed in quick succession by [five more Democrats.]”

Sen. Harry Reid chose not to fight to the finish. Politico: “‘I knew what the outcome’s going to be for a long time,’ Reid said. ‘In my caucus, we have a dozen people who have been pro-trade. That’s why I’ve been very careful in trying to understand them … I’ve tried not to be an obstacle to the bill passing.’ Asked why he didn’t try to line up the votes to kill legislation he strongly opposes, Reid shrugged and said, ‘Well, maybe I didn’t want to.'”

House Republicans claim momentum for fast-track. The Hill: “…Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, said he expects his party will deliver enough votes to pass the legislation … Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who supports fast-track, said [Rep. Paul] Ryan firmed up Republican support during the meeting and ‘turned some of the wavering people our way.'”

NYT’s Paul Krugman calls Obama dishonest on TPP: “…there is an argument to be made for such a deal … other reasonable, well-intentioned people have serious questions … I would have expected a good-faith effort to answer those questions … the fact that the administration evidently doesn’t feel that it can make an honest case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership suggests that this isn’t a deal we should support.”

Third Way Takes Swipe At De Blasio

Third Way’s Jon Cowan and DE Gov. Jack Markell criticize Mayor de Blasio’s “Progressive Agenda” in W. Post oped: “As progressives ourselves, we can support many of the things on de Blasio’s list … But the mayor’s proposal doesn’t come remotely close to solving the United States’ growth-and-wage riddle … We can make a huge difference … by raising standards in our public schools … Reforming our antiquated tax code will entice businesses to locate, hire and expand here rather than abroad. And revamping our retirement system so that every working person has private savings in addition to Social Security will mean a comfortable retirement for everyone.”

W. Post’s Dana Milbank joins the union: “I am proud to be a card-carrying member of Local 32035 of the Communications Workers of America … I signed up because income inequality, after years of worsening, has reached a crisis — and the decline in union membership is partly to blame. Rejoining the labor movement is my small, symbolic protest.”

“Wall Street Flouts Fed Standards to Fund High-Risk Loans” reports Bloomberg: “Regulators’ efforts to rein in Wall Street’s biggest banks are in danger of backfiring. Guidelines aimed at strengthening lending standards are shifting the market for high-yield credit to less-supervised loan funds, raising alarm this week from the Financial Stability Oversight Council.”

Breakfast Sides

The Nation’s Ari Berman explores “How the Money Primary Is Undermining Voting Rights”: “Never before has so much money flowed into the American political system from the deep pockets of an elite few … Twenty-eight percent of total campaign funds came from the 1 percent of the 1 percent … When the wealthiest Americans dominate every facet of political life … what happens to the voting rights of everyone else?”

“Senate Democrats Press G.O.P. to Fully Fund Amtrak” reports NYT: “Nine lawmakers who represent the area serviced by Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, which is traveled by more than 31 million passengers each year, asked their colleagues to fully meet the passenger rail system’s approximately $2 billion funding request.”

“Obama Set to Strengthen Federal Role in Clean Water Regulation” reports NYT: “The Obama administration is expected in the coming days to announce a major clean water regulation that would restore the federal government’s authority to limit pollution in the nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands … [Republicans] are advancing legislation on Capitol Hill meant to block or delay the rule.”