Environmental groups and a host of allies won a major victory on Friday when House Democrats derailed Obama’s “free trade” agenda — at least for now.
Through some congressional maneuvering, House Democrats threw a critical roadblock in front of a plan to give the president trade promotion authority (TPA) that he could use to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal that many environmentalists, among others, are deeply skeptical about. (Look out for more acronyms below!) TPA would “fast track” the trade deal, constraining Congress to a “yes” or “no” vote on it and allowing Obama more leeway to negotiate what the deal would contain.
Both TPA and TPP have found favor with most Republicans, but they’ve also brought together a broad coalition in opposition. Tea Partiers who oppose Obama’s authority more or less on principle came together with a whole range of progressives. Many fear the…
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