Fast Track Is Now Back on a Fast Track to the Senate


Well, the House just passed standalone fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty. Now it’s on to the Senate, where 14 Democrats voted for it back when it was paired up with TAA, the assistance program for workers who lose their jobs because of the treaty. Will the Gang of 14 still vote for it as a standalone bill? By my count, if there are more than four or five defections, it will fail. Stay tuned.

If it passes, TAA will then get a second vote too, free of fast-track entanglements: “Republicans have decided to tuck the worker assistance components into a noncontentious trade preference bill related to Africa, and send it back to the House for final passage.”

So there you have it. Stay tuned.

POSTSCRIPT: I still don’t have a firm opinion on the treaty since I failed to delve into it over the weekend. Sorry. Unfortunately, my proxy guides aren’t working for me either. On the anti side, I’m no big fan of the IP clauses in the treaty. On the pro side, I’m influenced by the fact that it’s supported by both President Obama and Ron Wyden, my favorite senator. So I’m still on the fence.