Yesterday, the Senate granted TPA (trade promotion authority, also known as “fast-track”) to President Obama in order to negotiate the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).
The TPP has been dubbed in conservative circles as “ObamaTrade,” due to the nature of how the final deal will come about. The parameters of the deal have been secret so far. Maybe there are provisions they don’t want the public to see?
When fast-track authority is given to the President, once he submits the deal to Congress only an up-or-down vote may be held. Congress may not amend the bill nor can they filibuster the bill. The very purpose of fast-tracking is to ensure a deal can bypass parliamentary procedure.
We can almost be certain that the final version of the TPP will be very bad for America. However, with President Obama, Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and powerful lobbyists all supporting it, we cannot be certain that Congress would vote down the deal.
Who in their right mind would put the nation in such a precarious position? There is no upside with fast-tracking the TPP, but there is the very probable downside that it gets approved.
With all of this said, here is how each Senator voted on the TPA:
YEAs —62 Alexander (R-TN)
NAYs —37 Baldwin (D-WI)
Not Voting – 1 Enzi (R-WY)