President Obama wants Congress to “pass legislation that would give him the authority to negotiate a long-sought trade agreement with nearly a dozen countries in the Pacific region.” Roll Call,
It could make for a potentially uncomfortable situation in which Democrats, already marginalized by the fully GOP-controlled Congress, can’t bring themselves to back their own president.
It also could create divisions within the caucus itself, with members torn between allegiances to their party and a desire to advance policy they feel will promote a healthier global economy.
On Thursday, joined by high-ranking officials from some of the largest and most powerful unions in the country, at least 16 House Democrats gathered in a packed room in the Cannon House Office Building at a press conference-cum-pep rally. They were all there to rail against so-called fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which allows the administration to negotiate the terms of a trade agreement according to a specific set of parameters…
Democrats who have typically been inclined to support trade agreements and fast-track authority are uncomfortable with the divisions growing in the caucus and the sense that they are being cast as villains and traitors.