The Stand

Murray, Cantwell put Fast Track over the top

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fast-track-senate-15Jun23WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2015) — This morning, the U.S. Senate narrowly approved a procedural motion that virtually assures passage of the “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority legislation that, for the first time in the modern free-trade era, strips provisions to provide assistance to workers whose jobs are shipped overseas.

Needing 60 votes to invoke cloture and end debate on the bill, it passed 60-37, with both Washington Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray voting “yes.” The vote on Fast Track’s final passage is expected later this week, but only requires a simple majority or 51 votes to pass. Then President Obama will sign the bill limiting debate and forbidding Congress from amending free-trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for the next six years.

Cantwell and Murray had previously said they would not support the Fast Track bill unless it included reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which extends unemployment benefits and offers job retraining to workers displaced by global trade. The TAA program expires in September.

murray-cantwellBut after the TAA was stripped from the Senate’s previously approved version of the Fast Track bill by the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) committed to passing the TAA bill separately later. That promise was sufficient to convince Cantwell, Murray and 11 other Senate Democrats to vote “yes” this morning and provide the margin necessary — with not a single vote to spare — to advance the Fast Track bill.

In the House, the Fast Track bill was opposed by Democratic Reps. Denny Heck, Jim McDermott and Adam Smith. But fellow Democratic Reps. Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer and Rick Larsen joined all Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse and Dave Reichert in voting “yes.”

Short URL: http://www.thestand.org/?p=41490

Posted by on Jun 23 2015. Filed under NATIONAL, TAKE A STAND!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Comments for “Murray, Cantwell put Fast Track over the top”

  1. danielcobb

    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ask-the-afl-cio-to-never?source=c.em&r_by=4677979

    I’ve never written petitions other than ones I have presented to my employer. I decided it was time in light of this fast track vote to ask the AFL-CIO/Trumka to not endorse either of our incumbent senators for any public office unless they can vote no on the TPP itself when the time comes. Thanks for having a look.

  2. ctoal53

    After this total sellout of working people, why should the AFL/CIO donate a dime or deliver any volunteers to Patty Murray’s re-election campaign? These resources would do more good electing real Democrats.

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