Friday, June 12, 2015

President Obama twists Democratic legislators' arms

Here's Robert Reich's FB post on the topic:

"The President travels to Capitol Hill this morning to twist the arms of House Democrats who will be voting on whether to fast-track the Trans Pacific Partnership. Most are still opposed, for three simple reasons:

1. Fast track means no amendments and no opportunity to debate. Yet the public hasn’t even seen this massive trade deal that’s been classified. What’s known about it has been leaked. A basic tenet of democracy is that a deal this size and complicated should at least be available to the media and the public to scrutinize before it’s fast-tracked through Congress.

2. We know that the Investment Dispute Mechanism within the deal gives any global corporation the right to be reimbursed (in a special tribunal outside the laws of any nation) for any health, safety, environmental, labor, or financial regulation that reduces corporate profits – thereby providing a back door to repealing these regulations, and making it harder to raise any such standards.

3. At a time when inequality is at near record levels, and Republicans haven’t even been willing to raise the minimum wage (it’s now 25% below what it was in 1968, adjusted for inflation), a massive deal like this will make the rich richer and put a further squeeze on the middle class.

Why is Obama pushing this? He never traveled to Capitol Hill to twist legislators’ arms over hiking the federal minimum wage."

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