Sen Finance Committee Hearing Results on Fast Track and Amendments

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The Senate Finance Committee held a long "executive session" yesterday, April 22, 2015, on the misguided "fast track" trade authority bill.  There were many amendments.  Here is what happened.

Summary:  CPA opposes the fast track trade authority bill (S 995) because it continues past trade deficit problems.  It does not include a balanced trade goal, it fails to address modern mercantilism, and the trade negotiation objectives are vague and unenforceable. Congress would pre-commit to suspend the regular order and "fast track" a future trade agreement and implementing legislation negotiated by another branch of government without control over the objectives and without sufficient transparency. This relinquishment of congressional control and oversight ratifies the prior grab of executive authority by the administration when it engaged in now-mature Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deal negotiations without congressional authorization.  The agreements will change US laws, subject future state and local government decision making to international tribunal suits, and narrow Congress ability to pass laws in the future.

The committee approved the trade authority bill (S 995) by a vote of 20 to 6. 

Ayes: Hatch, Grassley, Crapo, Roberts, Enzi, Cornyn, Thune, Isakson, Portman, Toomey Coats, Heller, Scott, Wyden, Cantwell, Nelson, Carper, Cardin, Bennet, Warner.
Nays: Burr, Schumer, Stabenow, Menendez, Brown, Casey.

The bill will go to the Senate floor at some time in the future.

Good amendments that were accepted.

- Amendment #62: Add the Senate Currency Bill S 433.  CPA supports this bill.  The committee approved adding it by an 18-8 margin. 

Ayes: Grassley, Crapo, Roberts, Burr, Isakson, Portman, Scott, Wyden, Schumer, Stabenow, Nelson, Menendez, Carper (proxy), Cardin, Brown, Bennet, Casey, Warner (proxy).
Nays: Hatch, Enzi, Cornyn, Thune (proxy), Toomey, Coats, Heller, Cantwell.

Good amendments that were rejected.

Amendment #87, Portman/Stabenow/Burr/Brown/Casey/Schumer #1: An amendment to address currency manipulation in trade agreements – defeated by a roll call vote, 11 ayes, 15 nays.

Ayes: Grassley, Crapo, Enzi, Burr, Portman, Schumer, Stabenow, Menendez, Cardin, Brown, Casey.
Nays: Hatch, Roberts, Cornyn, Thune, Isakson, Toomey, Coats, Heller, Scott, Wyden, Cantwell, Nelson, Carper, Bennet, Warner.

Amendment #63, Stabenow/Brown #1: To establish an Interagency Trade Enforcement Center in the Office of the United States Trade Representative – agreed to by voice vote

Amendment #94, Stabenow #2: To prevent the application of trade authorities procedures with respect to trade agreements with countries that manipulate their currency – defeated by roll call vote, 9 ayes, 17 nays

Ayes: Grassley, Burr, Portman, Schumer (proxy), Stabenow, Menendez, Cardin, Brown, Casey.
Nays: Hatch, Crapo, Roberts, Enzi, Cornyn, Thune, Isakson, Toomey, Coats, Heller, Scott, Wyden, Cantwell, Nelson, Carper (proxy), Bennet, Warner.

Amendment #203, Casey/Schumer/Stabenow/Menendez/Brown/Cardin #2: Prohibits trade agreements that would weaken "Buy American" provisions – defeated by voice vote

Amendment #167, Brown/Menendez/Stabenow/Casey/Schumer #51: Prevent China from Docking onto TPP without congressional oversight – defeated by roll call vote, 11 ayes, 15 nays.

Ayes: Grassley, Portman, Schumer, Stabenow, Cantwell, Nelson, Menendez, Cardin, Brown, Bennet, Casey.
Nays: Hatch, Crapo, Roberts, Enzi, Cornyn, Thune, Burr, Isakson, Toomey, Coats, Heller, Scott, Wyden, Carper, Warner.

 

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