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July 6, 2015

Posts in "Progressives"

June 26, 2015

How One House Democrat Helped Save Trade for Obama

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the House New Democrat Coalition news conference to unveil a policy agenda "aimed at creating a new era of American prosperity" on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind, D-Wis., helped get 28 Democrats to vote for TPA (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At midday Thursday, there was a gathering in Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s members’ lounge off Statuary Hall to toast House passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance, the last piece of a legislative package giving Trade Promotion Authority to President Barack Obama.

But among the select group of lawmakers and aides from both parties, there was one notable absence: The House Democrat who helped win for Obama the ability to negotiate a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Full story

June 25, 2015

House Sends Trade Adjustment Assistance to President’s Desk

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi voted for TAA after leading a prior mobilization of members in opposition (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House did Thursday what two weeks ago might have seemed impossible: Cleared for President Barack Obama the second and third of four necessary components to his ambitious and contentious trade agenda.

Lawmakers voted 286-138 on a bill to establish broad trade preferences and extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which facilitates trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. Full story

June 24, 2015

Obama Gets Trade Win: Democrats Give In on TAA

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer will vote for TAA when it comes back to the House floor Thursday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s over.”

That’s how several House Democrats and senior aides described the current feeling in the caucus regarding their efforts to stop “fast-track” trade authority for the White House.

Over the past two weeks, most members of the House Democratic Caucus have gone from opposing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation — packaged with the related Trade Promotion Authority, a Republican and Obama administration priority — to acknowledging there’s little point in voting “no.” Full story

June 18, 2015

Boehner Confident on Trade. Pelosi? Not So Much (Video)

Boehner says it's been a strange couple of weeks in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner said things have been “close to bizarre” in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

With a new Trade Promotion Authority bill now through the House chamber, and with its chances of passage in the Senate looking good, you might think House Democrats would be prepared to wave the white flag and pass a worker-aid bill they had been holding hostage.

But maybe the Trade Adjustment Assurance bill isn’t such a sure thing. Speaker John A. Boehner is saying one thing. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is saying another.

What we have here, it seems, is a failure to communicate  or maybe something even stranger. Full story

House Passes Trade Promotion Authority Bill (Updated) (Video)

Benghazi Committee Democrats

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., has been leading the charge against Trade Promotion Authority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:22 p.m. | The House narrowly passed Trade Promotion Authority Thursday — the first step of many to resurrect President Barack Obama’s trade agenda after his own party torpedoed a combined bill last week.

The chamber voted 218-208 on TPA, which will give him the latitude to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal sought by most Republicans and a small number of Democrats. Full story

June 17, 2015

CBC Chairman Concerned Trade Maneuvers Imperil Africa Pact

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., speaks to reporters before a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center to receive a briefing on security from Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse and Assistant Chief Dan Nichols in the wake of Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is recovering from surgery after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Butterfield is concerned about what would happen if the AGOA reauthorization bill is amended to include TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation could be a casualty of efforts to stymie Trade Promotion Authority; now, some members fear the long-heralded African Growth and Opportunity Act could fall to the wayside, too.

As pro-trade lawmakers from both parties in the House and Senate move ahead with an effort to pass “fast-track” negotiating authority Thursday using a complex procedural maneuver, some skeptical Democrats are raising concerns the TPA maneuvering endangers the renewal of AGOA, a multi-nation pact that has long enjoyed bipartisan support.       Full story

War on Islamic State Finally Gets House Floor Debate

Farm Bill's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

McGovern spearheaded the push to force a floor debate on U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three House lawmakers wanted a robust debate on whether there should be boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

On Wednesday, they got their wish. Full story

June 12, 2015

President Gets Weekend to Swing Democrats on Trade Deal (Video)

he top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will take a second crack at passing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation early next week, after giving President Barack Obama and pro-trade Democrats the weekend to flip some of the party’s 144 “no’s.”

Republicans say this is Democrats’ last chance to pass TAA, which provides resources for retraining programs for U.S. workers displaced by international trade agreements, and which Democrats have typically supported. Full story

Rebuffing Obama, Pelosi and Democrats Scuttle Trade Deal (Video)

 Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the end, Pelosi came down against the trade deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite an eleventh-hour plea from President Barack Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats turned their backs on the White House Friday and blocked the chamber from advancing — for now — the administration’s trade agenda.

It’s an outcome supporters of Trade Promotion Authority say could have irreversible repercussions for key training programs the party has traditionally supported, and it leaves Democrats as fractured as they’ve ever been during the Obama presidency. Full story

June 11, 2015

Trade Rule Passes Despite Conservative Mutiny

UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. speaks during a news conference in the Capitol as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., looks on, after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise needed eight Democrats to help Republicans pass the rule for TPA and TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Plans to vote Friday on Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance could still fall through, but the House is moving ahead on a multi-pronged strategy to send the measures to the president’s desk by the week’s end.

The House on Thursday voted 217-212 on the rule that sets up votes on a bill to give President Barack Obama latitude to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal and to fund programs to retrain U.S. workers displaced by trade agreements. Full story

Democrats Weigh Sinking the Trade Deal With TAA (Video)

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the House New Democrat Coalition news conference to unveil a policy agenda "aimed at creating a new era of American prosperity" on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind, who supports the trade deal, says reports of dissension among Democrats are overblown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats described the situation as “fluid,” but for advocates of the package of trade bills backed by the president and a fragile bipartisan coalition of House members, it was more like “dire.”

House Democrats emerged from a meeting with Obama administration leaders Thursday afternoon with more questions than answers on how members will proceed on Trade Promotion Authority — and few predictions of if or how the impasse would be broken.

“My colleagues are angry birds right now,” said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., who as of this morning says he will vote for TPA. Full story

House GOP Ready to Move on Trade; Democratic Concerns Linger (Video)

Boehner and Pelosi got the 'doc fix' deal done in a big fashion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner and Pelosi worked all week to get a deal to bring up a package of trade bills — but it might still not be enough. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 11:50 a.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared late Wednesday night to have cleared an impasse preventing the House from moving forward on a package of trade bills and giving President Barack Obama long-sought Trade Promotion Authority.

But on Thursday morning, it was far from certain whether the deal will work, and not immediately clear to what extent Pelosi gave the green light to proceed. Full story

June 10, 2015

Trade Bills Filed With Rules; Possible Votes Friday (Updated)

Ryan and other potential GOP House chairmen will have to seek a waiver if they want to keep their gavels while seeking another office. 014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan and House Republican leaders sound like they’ve got the votes for Trade Promotion Authority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 1:49 p.m. | House Republican leaders early Wednesday filed a package of trade bills with the Rules Committee, putting the gears in motion for the most anticipated floor showdowns of the legislative session so far.

Though nothing is set in stone, lawmakers who support Trade Promotion Authority are growing increasingly confident they have the votes to bring the measure to the floor on Friday.

The Rules Committee is set to meet Wednesday afternoon to establish parameters for floor debate on a TPA, along with two related bills which would clear the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a controversial, 12-nation Pacific trade deal.

Full story

June 2, 2015

Hoyer Urges Civility Among Democrats in Trade Debate

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer decried Democratic infighting on trade. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats attacking Democrats over trade is neither productive nor welcome, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday.

At his weekly pen-and-pad briefing Tuesday, Hoyer told reporters the rancor surrounding the debate over Trade Promotion Authority, which could come up in the House as early as next week, needs to be toned down.

Full story

May 22, 2015

Moderate Democrats Get Leadership’s Ear on 2016 Messaging

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Israel has a tough road ahead in crafting a party message everyone can get behind (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s some good news for the moderate House Democrats who believe they’ve been marginalized in discussions on party messaging: Leadership might be starting to listen.

On Thursday morning, New Democrat Coalition Chairman Ron Kind of Wisconsin met privately with Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York, both lawmakers confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
Full story

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