Colombia Trade Deal Would Have Failed as a Treaty

By: Thursday October 13, 2011 6:59 am

As Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach explained yesterday, the three trade agreements passed Congress in a whirlwind of activity last night, because a present for the President of South Korea’s visit to Washington today is more important than a considered debate about the role of neoliberal trade agreements and what they have traditionally done to US exports. In addition, the House did pass Trade Adjustment Assistance, with every Democrat supporting and about half of Republicans. This had already passed the Senate, so the entire package goes to the President for his signature, and he is pleased about this:


American Jobs Act to Be Filibustered Later Today

By: Tuesday October 11, 2011 9:50 am

Later today, Senate Republicans will filibuster the American Jobs Act, the $447 billion bill to add demand into the economy through infrastructure spending, payroll tax cuts, extended unemployment insurance and a variety of other programs, paid for by a 5.6% surtax on millionaires. That would stop the bill in its current form.

Senate Passes Trade Adjustment Assistance, Setting Up “Free” Trade Agreements

By: Friday September 23, 2011 9:50 am

Speaking of Congress, they may be getting themselves in a position to actually pass those three long-stalled trade agreements The Senate passed a bill providing assistance for workers displaced by trade agreements, but its prospects in the House are uncertain.

Congress Returns to Session Amid High Negatives and Much Despair

By: Tuesday September 6, 2011 7:59 am

Congress is back on the job today, at least in the Senate. The House just had to have one more day off to refresh them for the ideological agenda-setting ahead. The return to session comes at a time when polls show a total collapse in confidence in Congress’ ability to do their job, and a general pessimism about the prospects for a turnaround in the economy. The big story of the week will be the President’s jobs speech on Thursday. But what will Congress do when left to their own devices?

Exceedingly little.

White House Has Several Unused Options When It Comes to Jobs

By: Thursday August 4, 2011 8:30 am

While there is a rhetorical pivot to jobs, jobs, jobs , what the White House is proposing is not even close to the most they could do. What we have here is actually a poverty of imagination. There are plenty of things that the executive branch can do – power they’ve had since they came into office – to boost jobs. They have $80-$100 billion in unused TARP funds that could be put to productive use, including at least $40 billion dedicated for housing. They could use Fannie and Freddie much more aggressively than this renting idea, creating a kind of modern-day HOLC to buy up homes.

Trade Deals Imperiled as Senate GOP Stages Walkout in Committee

By: Friday July 1, 2011 6:51 am

I thought Mitch McConnell was just grousing about trade adjustment assistance being included in the three trade deals that the President sent to Congress. What I didn’t know is that the White House negotiated directly with House Republicans on the deal, and didn’t really consult the Senate minority. So they’re making mischief out of a real opposition, not to put on a show. This means that these trade deals may not go through at all.

Senate Blocks Trade Adjustment Assistance for US Workers

By: Thursday February 10, 2011 6:30 pm

Earlier today, the Washington Post reported that Republicans would tie a trade adjustment assistance bill valued by Democrats to the finalization of free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.

Sure enough, when Democrats tried to pass this bill today in the Senate, Republicans blocked it. They tried to call up the bill by unanimous consent and Republicans objected. In case you didn’t notice, then, Republicans just broke the gentlemen’s agreement on getting bills to the floor to try and force the President to sign off on some corporate-written trade bills with countries that kill their workers for trying to unionize.

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