Senate liberals know they are going to lose the battle over fast-track trade authority. But they’re doing all they can to prolong the fight — perhaps even past the Memorial Day recess into June — in hopes that a long delay will damage the bill’s already difficult prospects in the House.
[Reposted from Politico | Burgess Everett | May 14, 2015]
A coalition of Senate Democrats who’ve long opposed new trade agreements, led by Sherrod Brown of Ohio, say they are planning to throw up procedural roadblocks and offer amendments that would expand worker protections and undermine GOP support for the fast-track measure. While they can’t win the battle, Brown and his allies hope their resistance will stoke popular sentiment against the bill and encourage Democrats to vote against it in the House, where Republican leaders warn they still need about 20 more votes for approval.
“The handwriting’s on the wall,” Brown said of the prospects of beating the bill in the Senate. But, he said: “There’s real opportunity in the House to defeat it.”
“We’re going to work as hard as we can to defeat this legislation,” added Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in an interview Thursday. “Time is on our side. The longer we keep it on the floor, the more the American people understand what a disastrous agreement this is, the better it is for us.”