In a stunning setback for Barack Obama and the new Obama/GOP “era of good feelings and bipartisanship,” the House, by an overwhelming margin, voted to kill the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) sweetener which Obama had said he would need in order to sign the “fast-track” bill.
Some in the Washington media are predicting that “fast-track” is dead. But it would be foolish to operate on that assumption.
Presumably, the “pass it before you can find out what’s in it” crowd hasn’t given up. And there are two ways they can proceed.
Possibility #1: Since the House and Senate have adopted different versions, the bill could, presumably, now go back to the Senate, where McConnell, presumably, could try to make the massive $600+ million TAA welfare giveaway even more generous.
Possibility #2: The House could take up the Senate-passed bill again with a separate free-standing bill, called a side-car,” which would add even more money to the $600+ million TAA welfare giveaway. The “side-car” would then have to go to the Senate as a new bill.
Here is what we need to do now:
FIRST: Filibuster Anything That Comes to the Senate
The last time around, cloture was invoked with only two votes to space (with 62 votes) — and only after McConnell and Obama bought as many as eight votes (during a prolonged roll call) by promising authorization of the Export-Import Bank on a must-pass vehicle. The must-pass vehicle was presumably the highway bill, due sometime between now and the end of July — although the “side-car” might now also be a possibility.
SECOND: Make It Clear That the Export-Import Bank Will Not be Reauthorized
If McConnell intends to use the highway bill for that purpose, turn the bill into the biggest “Christmas tree” in history.
THIRD: Make it Clear That any “Side-Car” Will be Filibustered and Christmas-Treed in the Senate (P.S. If you want to know how to filibuster something, ask [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ].)
You would hope that the addition of even more welfare-giveaway money would put us within reach of the 41 votes we need to kill the “side-car” in the Senate.
You would further hope that even the sell-out Republicans in the House would have second thoughts about this form of bribe-making.
FOUR: For Heaven’s Sake, Oppose the *&^%$^&**%$ Rule
There is no reason in the world why dozens of House Republicans who supposedly opposed “fast-track” would dutifully vote for the narrowly-passed rule (217-212). Boehner will probably need a new rule to bring up “fast-track” again. If Republicans oppose “fast-track,” they NEED to oppose the rule as well.
FIVE: Make it Clear to [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] That This Issue is Another “Amnesty”-Type Issue for the Base
No GOP presidential candidate who is currently a senator should be able to go anywhere in the country without being pounded on this issue.
Within just the last week, we have learned so many disturbing fact which make us realize how much “fast-track” resembles Obamacare:
— We have learned about congressmen who sold their votes for a ride on Air Force One (At least the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback, which cost two senators their seats we not personal gifts at taxpayer expense.);
— We have learned about the possibility that “fast track” could be used to pass an agreement on trade in services which would decimate Americas’ financial security;
— We have heard [mc_name name=’Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000570′ ]’s Pelosi-like “pass it before you can see it” rhetoric;
— We have heard about the money being thrown out like candy by the K-Street prostitutes who gave us the RINO’s we now have to work with; and
— We have heard how central this whole issue is to Barack Obama’s “legacy” — a “legacy” which will determine who will control the White House from 2017-2021. The Hill characterizes today’s vote as a “humiliating blow” to Obama. If he recovers from it, the GOP can kiss the White House good-bye.