Proving once again to be a Progressive member of the Republican Party, Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, cast the deciding vote giving President Barack Obama authorization to ‘fast-track’ trade agreements.
As HuffPo reports: “Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) stood by the table in the well of the Senate for most of the vote, waiting for the measure to get across the threshold of 60. As soon as it did, with a vote by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Cardin voted no, suggesting he had been willing to vote yes if needed.”
The approval gives any Obama’s trade legislation a simple up-or-down vote without any amendments or the threat of a filibuster. Obama has also said that If Congress passes the TPA, it will help him negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which he’s called it the most “progressive trade deal in history.”
Typically, a TPA’s passed at the beginning of negotiation cycles so that Congress directs the president to negotiate along specific parameters. In this case, the three primary treaties that would receive fast track status under this TPA had already been negotiated in secret for years.
So, there is no reason to pass fast track authority without releasing more details about these trade agreements to the public. Given Obama’s fondness for implementing major policies without Congress, there is a widespread fear he’ll use these trade agreements to pursue Progressive policies, like changes to our immigration system, labor laws, and the creation of more and stricter global warming regulations.
For example, TPP has a “living agreement” provision, which will allow foreign entities to create new laws that’ll effect U.S. trade, add new member countries, like China or Russia and as Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama wrote in an open letter to Obama, will give TPP countries “a sweeping new form of global governance authority.”
No wonder Heller has an ‘F-rating,’ with a 52 percent score from the ‘Conservative Review.’ Besides voting to approve Fast Track Authority for TPP, Heller has also voted to fully fund Obama’s executive amnesty and to spend $500 Billion on the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act.