Since I live in Michigan’s 7th District which is “represented” by the odious tea partier Tim Walberg, I have adopted neighboring 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell as my true Representative in Congress.
Congresswoman Dingell has been an outspoken critic of Fast Track and the Trans Pacific Partnership. You can read about her positions on that in an interview I did with here a couple of months ago HERE.
Yesterday, she gave a fiery House floor speech where she slammed the Fast Track process and the TPP itself. Unfortunately, the Fast Track bill narrowly cleared a procedural hurdle in the House this afternoon by a vote of 217-212.
Let’s roll tape:
The rule we are considering today represents everything for me that is wrong with politics. We are currently debating the most important package of trade legislation in a generation. Yet despite how critical this issue is to American jobs, this rule does not allow any amendments. Currency manipulation, the mother of all trade barriers, has cost this country as many as five million jobs. A bipartisan group of 20 members – 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats – proposed an amendment to address this, and it is vital that Congress debate, and vote, on how to address currency manipulation as we set U.S. trade policy for the next decade.
With nothing but the deepest of respect for the Chair of the Rules Committee, I want to give you the facts about the Korea Free Trade Agreement. The reality is that after it passed, we increased exports to Korea from 14,000 to 34,000. By comparison, Korea imported into this country 800,000 to the U.S. before the trade agreement and now exports 1.3 million. So we increased our exports to Korea by 20,000, and they’ve increased exports to this country by 461,000. Toyota made more money last year in currency manipulation in this country than Ford Motor Company did in its worldwide operations.
The American people deserve a full and open debate on trade policy. Not procedural gimmicks and political games that shutout amendments and avoid the tough questions. Let’s defeat this rule and have a real debate on the issues that the working men and women of this country have sent us here to consider and that are so critical to the livelihood and the backbone of this American economy. American jobs are at stake.
Go, Debbie! Give ’em hell!
[Photo by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]