But in the end, the fake Democrats sold out for fake promises about fake trade deals.
Today, with a final 60-37 count on a cloture vote to open debate, the effort to stop fast track was today derailed. Now they’ll just go through the motions.
The Senate passed a TPA (Trade Promotion Authority aka Fast Track) package that included TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) to provide help for workers displaced by the horrible trade provisions in these fake trade bills.
The House voted down TAA, effectively killing the whole thing. GOP leadership held votes for TPA and a third part even though they were ostensibly meaningless. It seemed as if all was dead…
But through some back room deal making, and a promise to pass TAA as a separate, standalone bill (really?), they brought TPA back up for a vote in the House, which narrowly passed 218-208!
Ryan Grim accurately predicted the way forward last week. Today, President Obama won with the help of all but four Republicans and 13 fake Democrats, as they garnered the 60 votes necessary to move the bill forward. The rest is just a formality.
Care to see how your senators voted?
|Not Voting – 3|
|Corker (R-TN)||Lee (R-UT)||Menendez (D-NJ)|
Ryan Grim of Huffington Post filled in some of the details about today’s vote:
The fate of the bill, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, hinged on whether backers of the fast-track legislation could win over Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Chris Coons (Del.). All three remained mum as to their intentions before the vote, with Coons lambasting the Senate on his way to the chamber for taking up a free trade vote while at the same time letting financing for exports, through the Export-Import Bank, lapse. It wasn’t enough to sway his vote, though, as all three voted to move forward.
The vote came down to the wire, thanks to an eleventh-hour reversal by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who announced his opposition in a bombastic op-ed for Breitbart News that sent Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) scrambling for additional Democratic support.
Still, the razor-thin margin of the final vote count masks the fact that McConnell had slightly broader support at his disposal. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) stood by the table in the well of the Senate for most of the vote, waiting for the measure to get across the threshold of 60. As soon as it did, with a vote by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Cardin voted no, suggesting he had been willing to vote yes if needed.
As Heller rushed onto the chamber floor, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), standing right outside the door, smiled at him, and shouted: “Here’s Mr. 60!”
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), both opponents of the trade legislation, missed the vote, as did supporter Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).
In the second hour, GottaLaff watched the votes come in with us, and then we drowned our sorrows together. Ugh.
To attempt to cheer up the proceedings a bit, I shared the story that Meryl Streep today sent a letter to every member of Congress imploring them to help revive the Equal Rights Amendment! And Amy Simon joined us too!
And we found out that Lindsey Graham likes spinners… or promised to have a “rotating First Lady” should he win the White House. He won’t.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more from the Oy FloriDUH files and whatever else the day’s news brings us, radio or not.