1:47 pm: Word is that there will be one vote switch from a yes to a no, meaning the count will be 117 no, 108 yes, 8 not voting.
11:19 am: A majority of the Dems opposed the Peru FTA - 116 voting no, 109 voting yes, 8 not voting. 50% against, 47% for, 3.4% not voting. Bush's NAFTA expansion makes it through Congress with minority of majority. Roll call up
10;54 am: voting has started...
10:51 am: Rangel is closing out the debate, saying people should vote their conscience, and asking that people not challenge his integrity... not to make it personal or anything...
10:42 am: House Trade Working Group co-chair Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) pointing out that this Peru deal is not about whether Peru has a large economy, but about principle of standing up for Americans and not just for big corporations. "We embrace globalization so long as it lifts us all up." One word: rockstar.
10:38 am: The GOP side is giving up its time to Rangel and Levin...
10:10 am: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is from the other side of Oregon, but one that is no less anti Peru FTA. A recent news article highlighted the differences between the two reps.
10:07 am: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) gave a brilliant one-minute speech on Peru FTA. Peru deal is "by, for and about Wall Street."
"The dollar is dropping like a rock. We're borrowing $2 billion a day from overseas to buy things that we don't make in America anymore. We've lost 4 million manufacturing jobs nationally, and 40,000 jobs here in Oregon due to so-called free trade policies. Millions of middle class Americans are seeing their pay go stagnate or decline. Our current trade policy is a dismal failure. It's a failed engine for America's economy."
"Now along comes the Peru Free Trade agreement. The advocates say the burgeoning middle class in Peru are going to be a huge market for the goods that we don't make in America anymore. They tout the breakthroughs on modest environmental and labor provisions, but the destructive multi-national corporate-written chapter 11 core, that lead to the failure of NAFTA, CAFTA, and other trade agreements, remains at the center of this policy. This agreement is by, for, and about Wall Street, plain and simple. It's not in the best interest of American workers, the U.S. economy, or our national security."
"If trade is the engine that drives our economy, we need an overhaul. Instead, with this bill, we're getting a new hood ornament, some side view mirrors and a misbegotten cousin of NAFTA as a trade policy."