House Dems disagree with Obama on trade issue
February 13th, 2014
03:30 PM ET
6 months ago

House Dems disagree with Obama on trade issue

Cambridge, Maryland (CNN) – A snowstorm Thursday prompted the White House to call off a keynote speech by Vice President Joe Biden at the House Democrats' policy retreat, and President Obama could get the cold shoulder from lawmakers during his planned visit Friday - at least on one pending trade issue.

The President wants Congress to give him fast track trade authority, which would make it easier for him to negotiate major trade deals, by limiting congressional input to a yes/no vote on a final bill.

Supporters say such authority allows the administration to avoid getting bogged down while pursuing agreements that would boost American exports. But prominent Democrats cite past trade deals they say have encouraged U.S. firms to ship jobs, not goods, overseas and ignored environmental protections.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has flatly rejected the current bill before Congress, highlighting her opposition during a labor rally this week and repeating it to reporters Thursday at the House retreat on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

“Camp-Baucus in its present form is unacceptable to me,” Pelosi said, referring to the bipartisan sponsors of the bill, GOP Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and former Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who was chairman of the Finance Committee.

Pelosi insisted her opposition “is not a rejection of the President’s trade agenda; it’s a rejection of the current form of Camp-Baucus."

"We want to export products overseas, not transport jobs overseas," she said.

Pelosi's rejection follows a similar one by the top Democrat in the Senate. "Everyone would be well advised just to not push this right now," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last month, after Obama mentioned the priority during his State of the Union address.

Meantime, there is support for trade protection authority among Republicans who control the House.

So the tougher fight, for now, is within the President’s own party.

But the problem is more squarely on the President’s shoulders, according to Rep. Joe Crowley of New York, the co-chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

“I think the President needs to make a case for this to the American people," Crowley told CNN.

In an interview as the House gathering began, Crowley said the proposal “lacks a lot of the protections that I would like to see for both the environment and for labor.”

Trade is one of many issues the President may address with House Democrats during their conference. Pelosi suggested he will take the opportunity to note a successful push to raise the nation’s debt limit without attaching other, unrelated conditions the Republicans had hoped to include.


Filed under: Congress • Democrats • House • President Obama • Uncategorized
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    No to fast track & the TPP!!! I've got your back on plenty of things Mr. President, but not on this.

    February 13, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. More bad news..

    Another power grab by Obama – surprised? You shouldn't be, and if you don't believe it, read the article – even the leaders within his own party aren't supporting this because it's wrong.
    Hope & Change – he's had 5yrs to change the economy, NSA spying, war on terror, etc. – and he's done nothing but divide this country between party lines, more so than ever before.
    Worse choice for President, ever.

    February 13, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "I will ensure that Congress plays a strong and informed role in our international economic policy and in any future agreements we pursue." – Candidate Obama
    ----------------------------------
    Those are your words Mr. President. Leave that Nixonian Fast Track alone! We must replace Fast Track with a democratic process that restores congressional scrutiny over pacts that affect our daily lives.

    February 13, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Abbey

    Well what do you know a few Democrats are standing up to King Obama...........lol

    February 13, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. tom l

    These guys obviously can't stand seeing a.....you know the rest

    February 13, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    More – The president has stopped the 8 millions jobs lost under the former occupant of the White House with the creation of 8 million jobs. Bin Laden dead, the auto industry alive. Deficits are half of the former occupants. War in Iraq over, soon over in Afghanistan. Housing market alive, stock market up to 16,000 from 7000, the republican Great Recession is over. There is more, but you are confused. Millions who were not able to get insurance can now buy a health plan. By the way, all this without a single republican vote

    February 13, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Chris

    This says good things about house democrats but Obama not at all. Corruption as usual.

    February 13, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "I will ensure that Congress plays a strong and informed role in our international economic policy and in any future agreements we pursue." – Candidate Obama
    ------------
    Those are your words Mr. President. Leave that Nixonian Fast Track alone! We must replace Fast Track with a democratic process that restores congressional scrutiny over pacts that affect our daily lives.
    **********************************
    With all respect, what sort of Democratic process would be acceptable to you? The pacts already affect our daily lives, so your cry for congressional oversight is nothing more than an exercise in hyperbole. If the goal is to boost our exports and get people back to work, then why slow it down with hearings that don't deal with a macroeconomic problem. Taking the microeconomic apporach in the name of oversight is a waste of time: why give the GOP an opportunity to hijack trade agreements for themselves?

    February 13, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @Abbey
    Well what do you know a few Democrats are standing up to King Obama...........lol
    ----------
    That is called public discussion. Smart people do it. Tea Party by contrast insists on lock step purity tests.

    February 13, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. tom l

    @Tampa,
    Ok, I'm finally calling you out. Can you please provide the data to show that in 2008 the economy lost 8 million jobs. While you're at it, look into TARP and where it was utilized. I think it might be an eye opening experience for you.

    February 13, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    Hahahahahahahaah.... notice just sayin and the usual rwnj crowd skipped this thread (except old tom I, but his post was nonsensical, as usual). They either have to side with Obama or the Dems and their heads all exploded.
    They cannot rap their minds arouns a party which does not goose step in unison on each and every topic.
    Pretty easy to scream 'NO' at the top of your lungs to every question.
    However you start looking a little crazy (and predictable) after about 273 times of doing that...

    February 13, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Export the products–not the jobs. Achieve by relaxing Foreign tax, by increasing funding on Agriculture–world needs food. Both are important. Bring Manufacture back home by cutting foreign tax. Manufacture and Agriculture are very important here. Focus on INFRASTRUCTURE. fix LaGuardia Airport and JFK.

    February 13, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. truth hurts but reality bites

    Well, this is something new! Obama has now managed to even get Democrats united in opposition to his never ending lust for power. You know it has gotten out of hand when even his own party is telling him to back off. I wonder if Obama will listen to them or threaten them like he has done with the Republicans?

    February 13, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Donna

    Ohhhh, I get it!! This is where the Democrats in the Senate pretend they are not Obama lap dogs, as they have been for 5 years. Where they start to concoct the fallacy for their election campaign that they aren't yes men/women for the incompetent clown in the White House. Yeah, like we haven't seen this con game before Democrats!

    February 13, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. just saying

    impressive.... they even got a token black guy to stand up there and pretend he opposes obama. and the naacp was attacking tim scott for being a ventriloquist dummy. it looks like the democrats got a real one for this picture.

    February 13, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    The Real Tom Paine
    -Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "I will ensure that Congress plays a strong and informed role in our international economic policy and in any future agreements we pursue." – Candidate Obama
    ----
    Those are your words Mr. President. Leave that Nixonian Fast Track alone! We must replace Fast Track with a democratic process that restores congressional scrutiny over pacts that affect our daily lives.
    **********************************
    With all respect, what sort of Democratic process would be acceptable to you? The pacts already affect our daily lives, so your cry for congressional oversight is nothing more than an exercise in hyperbole. If the goal is to boost our exports and get people back to work, then why slow it down with hearings that don't deal with a macroeconomic problem. Taking the microeconomic apporach in the name of oversight is a waste of time: why give the GOP an opportunity to hijack trade agreements for themselves?
    ----------------------------------
    I'm not too fond of trade deals that costs American jobs. That's all that I'm saying.

    February 13, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Chris-E...al

    Yes we need 0ur jobs t0 stay in the U.S. an t0 come back home .We cant survive much longer on a 0bama fortain co0kie that consist of a piece 0f cornbread with a fo0dstamp in the middle @ thank y0u

    February 13, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    @Donna

    Ohhhh, I get it!! This is where the Democrats in the Senate pretend they are not Obama lap dogs, as they have been for 5 years. Where they start to concoct the fallacy for their election campaign that they aren't yes men/women for the incompetent clown in the White House. Yeah, like we haven't seen this con game before Democrats!

    Unlike the republicants under bush where he vetoed so many bills and the republicant congress stood up to his warmongering and....
    Oh yeah, that never happened.
    Won't have to worry about that anymore though, will we? Seeing how you can't field a presidential candidate that can win anything other than the fake polls on faux news.

    February 13, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Tommy G

    The expression on the face of the tall bald guy in back says "I don't think anybody is buying this snake oil."

    February 13, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |