Press release: Congress passes bad Fast Track to the President – June 24, 2015

June 24, 2015

Categories: Agriculture, Congress, News, Northern Plains Resource Council

By Northern Plains Resource Council

BILLINGS, Mont.- Today, the U.S. Senate narrowly voted to give President Obama Fast Track Authority, the final vote needed to send the measure to the President’s desk. This bill will give the president the authority to sign pending trade agreements with no congressional input, just an up-or-down vote. Currently, three controversial trade deals are being negotiated between the United States and Pacific Rim nations, European countries, and a combination of the two.  The language of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the most imminent pact, is still unavailable to the public.
“These are not trade deals, these are investment agreements for the wealthiest corporations in the world to bypass our national laws,” said Dena Hoff, a farmer near Glendive and member of Northern Plains Resource Council.  “Giving the president the authority to bypass public and congressional input on trade is representative of what is to come: more ignoring our constitution, ignoring our people, and concentrating all of the power in the hands of the few.”
The final version of the Fast Track bill was passed without any provisions to assist workers who are dislocated from their jobs, which the President has stated he will require before he signs Fast Track. A worker assistance bill will be up for a vote on Friday.
“We are thankful that Senator Tester saw through the corporate greed and voted to defend Montanans,” Hoff added.  “We can’t say the same for our other delegates in Congress. It has to make you wonder who they work for, and if they see past their own political future.”
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