Pelosi strongly against current TPP bill: “No on Fast Track — Camp-Baucus out of question”

In a major change of position, Nancy Pelosi is now strongly against the current Fast Track trade bill, whose passage is a necessary precondition for passing TPP, the pro-corporate, anti-national sovereignty Trans-Pacific Partnership (“NAFTA on steroids” as some have dubbed it).

To learn what’s so wrong about TPP, click the link above, or let Bill Moyers explain it for you here.

The Fast Track bill, called “Camp-Baucus” after its sponsors, House Republican Dave Camp and Senate Democrat Max Baucus, is languishing in the House because Speaker Boehner can’t count on enough Yes votes to bring it to the floor. There are no Democratic co-sponsors in the House, at least 150 Democrats who have signed a letter opposed to Fast Track, and somewhere between 20 and 30 Republicans who are also opposed. And many of the rest are deliberately quiet on it.

But so far, no Democratic leader — Pelosi, Hoyer, Becerra, etc. — has come out against Fast Track or TPP, which Obama strongly supports. Pelosi’s statements represent a considerable crack in leadership silence.

From Greg Sargent at the Wash Post (my paragraphing everywhere):

Obama’s free trade push runs into more trouble

Progressives and liberal lawmakers who are working hard to block the massive free trade deal being negotiated by the Obama administration have just gotten a big boost from someone they’d been aggressively courting: Nancy Pelosi.

Nations involved with our corporate betters in implementing the TPP "free-trade" agreement

Nations involved with our corporate betters in implementing the TPP “free-trade” agreement

In an event with labor officials on Capitol Hill today, Pelosi delivered her strongest statement yet of opposition to the bill that would grant the Fast Track Authority sought by the administration to negotiate a sweeping free trade deal with a dozen Pacific countries. The bill — co-sponsored by Dem Senator Max Baucus and GOP Rep. Dave Camp — is strongly opposed by labor, liberal groups and many Congressional Dems.

“No on Fast Track — Camp-Baucus — out of the question,” Pelosi said, according to a transcript of her remarks forwarded to me by her office. She also told assembled steelworkers: “We cannot support Camp-Baucus. We cannot support Camp-Baucus.” This marks a significant hardening of Pelosi’s opposition to the Fast Track Authority bill.

Sargent notes that Pelosi’s objections, while considerable, aren’t unaddressable. It’s clear that simple tweaks to Camp-Baucus won’t satisfy her, but she seems still open to a larger rewrite:

It doesn’t entirely rule out the possibility that she could support some version of Fast Track at some point, if its terms are overhauled to deal with her concerns about job loss from currency manipulation, and to create much more transparency around negotiations and give Dems much more input into them.

But it creates a hurdle to the free trade measure, because it will be difficult to meet the conditions for supporting Fast Track that Pelosi is now laying down.

So while this is movement, it’s not over.

What you can do

You can help, a lot in fact. Call Nancy Pelosi’s office:

DC office: (202) 225-4965
SF district office: (415) 556-4862

and say two things:

1. Thank you, Leader Pelosi, for your strong voice against Fast Track and TPP.

2. Please, don’t let any version of Fast Track reach the floor. TPP is NAFTA on steroids. Just like NAFTA, no trade deal like this will improve the jobs picture.

In other words, say “thanks and stand firm.” Can you make that call? Especially if you’re in her district? My thanks if you do.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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  • cole3244

    i certainly hope your right but i’m not optimistic at all.

  • Nathanael

    Y’know, I should probably run for Congress on the platform of “I want to make money by insider trading, and I know the legal way to do it is to get elected to Congress!”

    Might make a splash.

  • Nathanael

    Nah, the left is just getting started. The left was quite dead in the US in 1984. We’re seeing something different now. It’s taking a while because people don’t want to make the mistakes of the past (better to make new and different mistakes). But people are beginning to get desperate, and people are realizing that (with the exception of those who got lucky, and the thieves) they haven’t made any gains in 30 years

  • Silver_Witch

    Thanks for the information bill and the links….

  • Bill_Perdue

    There must be an election on the horizon. Nancy Pelosi is the complete Democrat. She’s not a radical, just a political manipulator, which is how she got where she is today.

    In 1987, her first election, she ran as the ‘machine’ candidate in a special Democratic primary narrowly defeating gay SF Supervisor Harry Britt in a campaign that featured gay baiting. That years primary was remarkable for its large Republican crossover pro-Pelosi vote. Pelosi, a member of the looter class, used her personal wealth to win the election.

    Pelosi is making noises now, although that’s all they are, because her election will be decided by LGBT folks and left leaning voters.

    Pelosi is rich. House she had a minimum net worth of $24.4 million in 2012. 3 She receives $193,400 a year plus medical and will draw a hefty retirement package.

    Like most dues paying members of the looter class Nancy Pelosi is relentlessly rightwing. (Except for elections years, of course, and taking into account that Democrats have to lie a lot more in California if they expect to get elected.)

    According to Peter Camejo “Nancy Pelosi should be understood as someone who… voted for a motion for unequivocal support for George Bush’s conduct of the war in Iraq, and she led the Democratic Party to vote for that. … She led the Democrats in giving George Bush 35 standing ovations in the State of the Union address in 2005. Every single time he used the word Iraq, all the Democrats rose to give him a standing ovation.”

    She voted for FISA and for the Paytriot Act. She drew a line in the sand about impeaching Bush because she and the Democratic leadership would be – and are – practicing the same kind of genocidal policies for the same reason – to steal oil. She supported the recent health care scam that will continue to condemn tens of thousands to an early death and that will, over time, give trillions to insurance and pharmaceutical company owners.

  • cole3244

    no we don’t!

  • Bill_Perdue

    We don’t live in a democracy.

  • Because the other people these deals benefit are the rich fat cats in Congress, in the form of corporate bribes as well as their own investments.

    That’s why, for example, Congress exempts its members from insider trading laws. And it’s also why as of 2014, a majority of Congressweasels are now millionaires.

  • She always does that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her give a clear-cut answer to any question posed to her, about anything. She’s the epitome of a mealy-mouthed politician, using double and triple speak to hide her actual intentions.

    Of course, when she held control of the House she was happy to push all sorts of symbolic legislation that she knew, without a doubt, was just going to die and disappear without ever being taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate. I don’t doubt for a moment that she’d be all over TPP if she were still Speaker.

  • cole3244

    just checked but no posts on calling but that doesn’t mean some haven’t.

  • cole3244

    the problem is with these two rw parties its virtually impossible to get a real lefty elected in today’s atmosphere imo.

  • Silver_Witch

    Agreed – I tape it and watch it the next day – when their are such people on…so I can watch before I am sleeping. She was very angry that he did not just let her say her thing.

  • Ford Prefect

    Hmm. I can’t get it to play. I’ll try again later. I saw the first couple minutes of it before changing the channel. She seemed rather…. arrogant. She wasn’t saying anything worth listening to in any case. It’s not good to watch that before bedtime!

  • Silver_Witch

    Thanks Gaius …great post

  • Silver_Witch

    After seeing her on Jon Stewart last week…I am more convinced than ever that she is trying out the “look shiny toy” tactic of the GOP…she could not answer a question straight on and finally stopped talking to Steward because she felt he was not supporting her and said she was only going to address the audience. She is a faker as is most of the people in office who are supposed to be on our side.

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks, cole! Anyone else?


  • Indigo

    If we’re about to tinker with our trade treaties, let’s start be revoking NAFTA.

  • Ford Prefect

    She has a real talent for Machiavellian BS. She’s undoubtedly hoping to disarm the critics so they’ll pack up and wait for the next outrage, so she can then pivot when things are quiet and it’s too late for anyone to say anything. Perhaps an unannounced vote at 1 AM we can read about over the weekend some time next year? Let it not be said she hasn’t learned oodles from her GOP counterparts.

    As long as she’s admitting TPP is deeply unpopular, we might as well turn UP the heat, not that I think the leading Prog Dem groups will. They almost always take the bait, declare victory and go home. But we’d better come up with a strategy for next year, if TPP goes down this year. Then it will be very difficult to pressure anyone, since there won’t be an election to worry about.

    But I’m still inclined to think the Dems will take it up on 24 December this year or maybe 31 January, while everyone else is having a grand time not thinking about politics. As soon as the election is over, all bets are off.

  • The_Fixer


    Thinking is hard. So, they don’t do it.

  • That is the trouble though, isn’t it? Pelosi always starts out saying the right thing, then caves — almost as if that was the point all along, for people to pin their hopes on her.

  • It’s because their “entire education” was already sucked out of their heads by Fox News and the right-wing corporatist media and replaced with craven sycophantic worship for their oligarch betters.

    They’ve been carefully conditioned to fear things they ought not and to accept things they should fear. To blithely ignore the manifestly unsustainable house-of-cards economics of the quadrillion-dollar derivatives market — money literally invented out of nothing at all — yet to yawp about manufactured urgent need to return currency to a precious metals basis, as if that would accomplish anything other than to impoverish the already poor and further increase deflationary pressures.

    They think and reason (if it can be called that) in sound-bites and epithets, each carefully tailored by the wingnut media to activate lizard-brain emotions and discourage critical thought.

    Hence we have people like Mark, who upon being presented with a detailed analysis of what TPP is all about and who it actually benefits, doesn’t respond by refuting any of the points made, but simply dismisses it out of hand as a ‘hack job’ and admits he didn’t even watch it to the end.

  • Ford Prefect

    This is potentially good news. But watch for the last minute headfake, as Leader Pelosi is given to do on occasion, whimpering with, “The Republicans had us over a barrel on this one.”

    All the more reason to push even harder now. She’s publicly recognizing TPP is political kryptonite. But even if it dies for this year, it will be back next year when there’s no election cycle to worry about.

  • The_Fixer

    Yes, pray tell, what was a hack job that you had to turn off? Bill Moyers’ report? I’ve seen it, and I certainly can’t regard it as such. Please be specific in your critique.

    I find it peculiar that the people on the idealogical right invent all kinds of conspiracy theories involving the U.N. and how they’re working toward a one-world government (which I have been hearing about, courtesy of the John Birch Society and their ilk, since I was a kid in the ’60s and it hasn’t happened yet). Yet when a real threat to our trading autonomy, such as the TPP comes along, they think it’s fine and dandy.

    Which tells me that it’s about autonomy, all right. Autonomy of the wealthy corporations and those that do their bidding. It’s pretty clear that they are in it for short-term gains and not long-term economic success for the country. I suggest you read the article Bill referenced above on Counterpunch. The manipulation of the stock market, and the enablement of such by the Federal Reserve is just another example of the search for short-term profits at the risk of our economic system. It’s also an example of the incompetence of today’s CEO class and their total disregard for the principles of real wealth-building in the economy.

  • cole3244

    made my call, had to call calif & leave a message since the wash mailbox was full.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The Democrats are moving right but the left, composed of socialists and the rapidly growing union left are making modest but very real gains that reflect the huge change in thinking among workers.

  • cole3244

    nafta on steroids and assuming hillary is more than likely the next pres (or a goper) we are in for more of the same, the left is effectively dead in america.

  • FLL

    I think the Trans Pacific Partnership will hurt the American economy and American workers, so this is a good time for Pelosi and others to stop Obama’s TPP plans. Your comment is so vague that I can’t really tell whether you are for or against TPP. In other words, I can’t claim that you’re right or wrong because your meaning is so unclear. Do you or do you not support Pelosi’s effort to oppose TPP? Plain English is your friend.

  • gratuitous

    So enlighten us; what’s in the Trans Pacific Partnership that is so desireable for working men and women in this country? What sort of iron-clad environmental protections are in the TPP that ensure we have a livable planet for generations to come? What are the enforcement mechanisms to be sure that corporate wrongdoing is detected and punished? Where does the funding for enforcement come from?
    That’ll do for a start, I guess. Please give us lots and lots of tiny facts that will educate all of us about what a boon the TPP will be for the citizens of the countries involved.

  • Bill_Perdue

    TPP is a major jobs killer.

    That’s a step forward unless Pelosi holds out for fake assurances like those offered by Bill Clinton in 1992-93 when NAFTA was passed. In spite of his assurances NAFTA was an unmitigated disaster for working people and for the environment.

    Obama’s recent discovery that we actually have ‘wage inequality’ is contradicted by his unity with many in Congress who aim to double down on union busting, poverty, unemployment and homelessness with the Trans Pacific Partnership and by gutting Social Security and Medicare.

    Democrats and Republicans created the current economic crisis, which is about to deepen,
    considerably. (1) And TPP will hasten that event. The stock market bubble is going to burst, sooner rather than later because little is being invested in the economy and workers are broke and getting deeper in debt.

    Income inequality, which can more accurately be termed class war, is a Democrat and
    Republican initiative and its effects are criminal.
    The rich have had their way for the last 35-40 years and millions of workers in fast food and big box workers are fighting back, demanding a decent wage, a minimum wage of $15 dollars an hour demanding union contracts.

    For them and for all working people the way out of economic inequality is to stop TPP in its tracks, promote unions and the union left by organizing the unorganized, building workers parties and then creating a workers government.


    photo by

  • Markt

    That was a hack job. I had to turn it off. I felt like my entire education was being sucked out of my head. Thanks for telling me what to think before even one tiny fact was offered. Recommending that as news was insult.

  • What is up with corportist Dems and Repubs supporting these free trade deals like NAFTA? They are costing American jobs year after year. The only people benefits financially from these deals are the rich fat cats in Wall Street. The jobs go over seas, workers there make next to nothing and then the net profit goes to the Fat cats.

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