Fast Track Death - live blogging
April 10, 2008
The House is doing an hour of debate on Fast Track for Colombia. I'll try to type the basic things that people are saying, and bracket any editorial remarks.
Rep. Slaughter (D-NY): Fast Track outsources our very basic legislative responsibility. We can alter this rule, and it won't affect the FTA or the Senate's actions in any way. We're on the edge of economic ruin, now is not the appropriate time to bring up a flawed agreement. Damage to workers and Afro Colombians too significant to warrant passage of this bill. It is our preregorative to suspend Fast Track if timing necessitates it. WE ARE REESTABLISHING THE HOUSE OF REP AS CO-EQUAL TO THE PRESIDENT
Rep. David Drier (R-Calif.): I've never seen Democrats align with Hugo Chavez and FARC. We are considering the Hugo Chavez RULE. Process is substance. He's reading the Fast Track rules as evidence that it's a Democratic process. Cites number of codels as upholding democratic principles. This is an unprecedented rule change. They are making up this nonsense as they go along. Venezuela threatens not only Colombia but very idea of democracy and free markets.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): I doubt that there's anyone who has the concern for Colombia. Not only with their political problems, but also their fight against drugs. Mr. President, you forgot to consult with the Ways and Means Committee. I don't remember the last time anyone has talked about the bill, instead they only want to talk about Chavez and Castro. Suggests some kind of a trade off for urban policing technology.
Rep. Diaz Balart (R-Fla.): This day will live in infamy.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.): I'm open minded, but I'm not a cheap date.
Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.): This bill turns off the timeline entirely.
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) [- voted against the Peru FTA, but now is supporting an identical deal for Colombia - where unionists are murdered.]
SORRY. FLAKED. TOO MUCH INTOLERABLE RHETORIC ON BOTH SIDES.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.): So this is a rule from 1974. Guess what? we were the manufacturing collosus of the world. Until today, Congress never had a spine to stand up to the president before. Today is a new beginning.
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.): [Colombia is safer that Washington, DC. Pretty rich coming from a guy married to Guatemalan death squads.]
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.): Talking about globalization's squeeze on middle class Americans. If people don't win, they'll turn against trade per se.
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.): We didn't have FTAs before Fast Track.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas): [Calls us chickens.]
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.): They call it Fast Track so that we don't have to argue about process.
Measure to kill Fast Track passed: 224-195. On the Dem side, Melissa Bean (Ill.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Bud Cramer (Ala.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Baron Hill (Ind.), Nick Lampson (Texas), Tim Mahoney (Fla.), and Jim Matheson (Utah) crossed sides. On the GOP side, Bob Aderholt (R-Ala.), Virgil Goode (R-Va.), Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) crossed party lines. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) voted present. Bob Andrews (D-N.J.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), John Larson (D-Conn.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), and Albio Sires (D-N.J.) did not vote.