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House Approves Obamatrade’s TPA, Bill Must Go to Senate Next

Obamatrade is alive.

One week after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected Obamatrade by voting against a key provision of it — Trade Adjustment Assistance — GOP establishment lawmakers resuscitated Trade Promotion Authority and rammed it through Thursday afternoon. The final tally was 218-208.

The House action is unusual. As Breitbart News reported: “To engage in the complicated procedural chicanery needed to revive the once-dead Obamatrade, bringing its Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) portion back to life,

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) 58% needed to gut a previous bill that has passed the House and Senate and then insert Obamatrade into it. It’s actually a very similar process to how Obamacare passed the House”...

Because the Senate passed TAA and TPA together, the individual House version will now have to go back to the Senate for approval, where it may face a filibuster. It’s unclear how many senators would support TPA without TAA, a measure to aid workers who lose their jobs because of trade policy.

The Senate isn’t expected to take up TPA until next week, but Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 52% has expressed confidence it can pass.  Obamatrade is making for unusual partnerships in Washington. Barack Obama is working with McConnell and House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) 35% to pass a measure his own party largely rejects.

Last week he traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for his trade measures, but shortly before the House vote on TAA, Minority Leader. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 9% announced she opposes it. More than 300 representatives ended up voting down TAA, setting the stage for Thursday’s moves to bring TPA back to life. Read more about House Approves Obamatrade’s TPA, Bill Must Go to Senate Next

House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

After votes earlier today, the House has at least for now set aside the threat of giving Presidents the authority to use trade deals to guarantee other countries the ability to send their workers to take jobs in the U.S.

When the Senate passed the "fast-track" Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, it set things up so that it could go to the President to be signed only if the House passed BOTH the TPA and a companion Senate trade assistance bill.

The House today was able to pass only one of those must-pass bills, narrowly approving the TPA bill (219-211). But the trade assistance bill garnered only 126 votes, with 302 voting against it. That effectively killed TPA for the present moment.

Republican House Leaders, however, could decide to bring the trade assistance bill back to the floor early next week in hopes of persuading around 90 Members (mostly Democrats) to switch their vote to pass what Pres. Obama and House Majority Leader Boehner consider to be a top priority.

"We are not done with this," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

Moments before the first vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had been silent on the issue, urged Democrats to vote against the two bills, hoping to keep TPA from reaching the President's desk. Pelosi pleaded with Republican House Leadership to focus on legislation that puts American workers first instead of free trade; something she failed to do during the amnesty debates of the past two years.

Pelosi led 144 Democrats in joining 158 Republicans to defeat the trade assistance bill. That was all that was needed today to keep TPA from going to Pres. Obama, who had made a rare personal visit to the Capitol to meet with Democrats in an emotional appeal for them to help him pass TPA as an important part of his legacy.

  Read more about House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

After votes earlier today, the House has at least for now set aside the threat of giving Presidents the authority to use trade deals to guarantee other countries the ability to send their workers to take jobs in the U.S.

When the Senate passed the "fast-track" Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, it set things up so that it could go to the President to be signed only if the House passed BOTH the TPA and a companion Senate trade assistance bill.

The House today was able to pass only one of those must-pass bills, narrowly approving the TPA bill (219-211). But the trade assistance bill garnered only 126 votes, with 302 voting against it. That effectively killed TPA for the present moment.

Republican House Leaders, however, could decide to bring the trade assistance bill back to the floor early next week in hopes of persuading around 90 Members (mostly Democrats) to switch their vote to pass what Pres. Obama and House Majority Leader Boehner consider to be a top priority.

"We are not done with this," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

Moments before the first vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had been silent on the issue, urged Democrats to vote against the two bills, hoping to keep TPA from reaching the President's desk. Pelosi pleaded with Republican House Leadership to focus on legislation that puts American workers first instead of free trade; something she failed to do during the amnesty debates of the past two years.

Pelosi led 144 Democrats in joining 158 Republicans to defeat the trade assistance bill. That was all that was needed today to keep TPA from going to Pres. Obama, who had made a rare personal visit to the Capitol to meet with Democrats in an emotional appeal for them to help him pass TPA as an important part of his legacy.

  Read more about House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

Revealed: The Secret Immigration Chapter in Obama’s Trade Agreement

...secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama’s executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

The mainstream media covered the Wikileaks document dump extensively, but did not mention the immigration chapter contained within it, so Breitbart News took the documents to immigration experts to get their take on it...

The president’s Trade in Services Act (TiSA) documents, which is one of the three different close-to-completely-negotiated deals that would be fast-tracked making up the president’s trade agreement, show Obamatrade in fact unilaterally alters current U.S. immigration law. TiSA, like TPP or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deals, are international trade agreements that President Obama is trying to force through to final approval. The way he can do so is by getting Congress to give him fast-track authority through TPA.

TiSA is even more secretive than TPP...

Voting for TPA, of course, would essentially ensure the final passage of each TPP, T-TIP, and TiSA by Congress, since in the history of fast-track any deal that’s ever started on fast-track has been approved.

Roughly 10 pages of this TiSA agreement document leak are specifically about immigration...

Obama will be able to finalize all three of the Obamatrade deals, without any Congressional input, if Congress grants him fast-track authority by passing TPA...

The Senate passed the TPA last month, so it is up to the House to put the brakes on Obama’s unilateral power...

“This Trade and Services Agreement is specifically mentioned in TPA as being covered by fast-track authority, so why would Congress be passing a Trade Promotion Authority Act that covers this agreement, if the U.S. weren’t intended to be a party to this agreement – so at the very least, there should be specific places where the U.S. exempts itself from these provisions and there are not,” explained Jenks.

...this is a draft, but at this point “certainly the implication is that the U.S. intends to be a party to all or some of the provisions of this agreement. There is nothing in there that says otherwise, and there is no question in my mind that some of the provisions in this Trade and Services Agreement would require the United States to change its immigration laws.”

In 2003, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution that said no immigration provision should be in trade agreements – and in fact, former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) voted for this resolution.

The existence of these 10 pages is in clear violation of that earlier unanimous decision, and also in violation of the statements made by the U.S. Trade Representative.

“He has told members of Congress very specifically the U.S. is not negotiating immigration – or at least is not negotiating any immigration provisions that would require us to change our laws. So, unless major changes are made to the Trade and Services Agreement – that is not true,” said Jenks.

There are three examples within the 10 pages of areas where the U.S. would have to alter current immigration law.

First, on page 4 and 5 of the agreement, roughly 40 industries are listed where potentially the U.S. visa processes would have to change to accommodate the requirements within the agreement.

Jenks explained that under the agreement, the terms don’t have an economic needs based test, which currently U.S. law requires for some types of visa applications in order to show there aren’t American workers available to fill positions.

Secondly, on page 7 of the agreement, it suggests, “The period of processing applications may not exceed 30 days.”

Jenks said this is a massive problem for the U.S. because so many visa applications take longer than 30 days.

“We will not be able to meet those requirements without essentially our government becoming a rubber stamp because it very often takes more than 30 days to process a temporary worker visa,” she said.

Jenks also spotted another issue with the application process.

“The fact that there’s a footnote in this agreement that says that face to face interviews are too burdensome … we’re supposed to be doing face to face interviews with applicants for temporary visas,” she added.

“According to the State Department Consular Officer, it’s the in person interviews that really gives the Consular Officer an opportunity to determine – is this person is a criminal, is this person a terrorist … all of those things are more easily determined when you’re sitting face to face with someone and asking those questions.”

The third issue is present on page 4 of the agreement. It only provides an “[X]” where the number of years would be filled in for the entry or temporary stay.

Jenks explained that for example, with L visas under current U.S. immigration law, the time limit is seven years – so if the agreement were to go beyond seven years, it would change current U.S. law.

This wouldn’t be unconstitutional if Obama has fast-track authority under TPA, as Congress would essentially have given him the power to finalize all aspects of the negotiations, including altering immigration law.

“I think this whole thing makes it very clear that this administration is negotiating immigration... Read more about Revealed: The Secret Immigration Chapter in Obama’s Trade Agreement

Ann Coulter questions media's news coverage of immigration

Read Ann Coulter's letter in the Human Events publication and learn why we never seem to hear any bad news about immigrants.  Ann cuts right to the heart of it.
  Read more about Ann Coulter questions media's news coverage of immigration

Obama immigration action may be dead, labor leader says

YAKIMA, Wash. — A federal appeals court upholding an injunction against the President Barack Obama’s controversial executive action on immigration probably means it is dead for the remainder of his term in office, a farm labor leader says.

“It is my understanding the administration probably will appeal and that could take a couple of years,” said Mike Gempler, executive director of Washington Growers League, a non-partisan association representing agricultural employers on labor issues.

The executive action would defer deportation and provide temporary legal work status for about 5 million of an estimated 12 million people in the U.S. illegally, was scheduled to take effect in May. Many of the illegal immigrants are farmworkers.

On Feb. 16, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, in Texas, ruled in favor of 26 states that sued to overturn the executive order and issued an injunction stopping the programs on grounds that they were implemented without following an administrative procedures act requiring a public comment period.

The injunction was appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. A three-judge panel of that court upheld the injunction on May 26.

“In my opinion, it was productive to push the envelope a little on this,” Gempler said. “It was provocative and made people think and hopefully would trigger action in Congress.”

Comprehensive immigration reform by Congress seems unlikely anytime soon but it is needed because an executive action “is a very temporary measure,” Gempler said.

Tom Roach, a Pasco, Wash., immigration attorney, could not be reached for comment. Previously, he has estimated 90,000 to 100,000 people in Central Washington and northeastern Oregon are eligible under the executive action for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans — known as DAPA — or an expanded 2014 version of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — called DACA.

Thousands of illegal immigrants are eligible in Idaho and California, he said.

Gempler said he believes there’s always been public support for DACA because it makes sense to not deport people who have grown up in the U.S.

“For DAPA, I don’t get a sense that there’s a lot of support in the general public or in the farm community necessarily, but I think there is in the immigrant community,” he said.

United Farm Workers, Keene, Calif., issued a news release denouncing the court ruling. UFW was among more than 100 organizations filing friend of the court briefs and issuing statements in support of the president’s action. UFW expressed optimism that Obama’s executive order eventually will prevail and said it will continue to help prepare illegals for administrative relief under DAPA and DACA.

OneAmerica, a Seattle immigration group, issued a statement calling the decision “disappointing” and saying it believes eventually millions will be given the chance to apply for DAPA and DACA.

Presente.org, a Latino power group, issued a statement saying the court ruling “is part of a continuing and well-orchestrated Republican attack on Latinos and immigrants.”
  Read more about Obama immigration action may be dead, labor leader says

Appeals court refuses to lift hold on Obama immigration action

A federal appeals court has refused to lift a temporary hold on President Obama's executive action that could shield millions of immigrants from deportation....

It wasn't immediately clear if the DOJ would appeal. 

The [26] states say Obama's action is unconstitutional. The White House says the president acted within his powers...

  Read more about Appeals court refuses to lift hold on Obama immigration action

US: Work Permits Issued After Immigration Action Delayed

The U.S. government says it "erroneously" awarded three-year work permits to 2,000 people under President Barack Obama's executive immigration action after a judge had put the plan on hold....by a Feb. 16 injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas.

Hanen had criticized Justice Department lawyers after they acknowledged that more than 108,000 people had received three-year deportation reprieves as well as work permits when the lawyers had previously told the judge that no action would be taken prior to the injunction.

A decision from an appeals court is pending on whether to lift the injunction.
  Read more about US: Work Permits Issued After Immigration Action Delayed

Your actions worked!

Alert date: 
2015-05-12
Alert body: 

Sometimes it seems that nothing we do works in stopping elected officials from moving in the wrong direction.  But, this time it worked.  You and your calls and emails stopped it.  Read all about it - then pat yourself on the back!

If you quit - you lose for certain.  If you stay and fight, you may lose...but, you just might win!
 

Senate Dems block key plank of Obama trade agenda

President Obama suffered a defeat at the hands of his own party on Tuesday, as Senate Democrats blocked a key component of the president's trade agenda. 

After fierce lobbying on both sides of the debate, the proposal failed on a 52-45 vote. It needed 60 votes to advance. 

The president's supporters will likely try again...

At issue is Obama's push for so-called "fast track" authority -- which would let him negotiate trade deals that Congress can reject or ratify, but not amend....

But Democrats aligned with labor unions warned about the impact on U.S. jobs, and many influential Democrats have openly opposed the White House. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., recently told reporters he's a "hell no" on the proposal. And Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for days have traded jabs on the matter, with the president calling Warren's claims "absolutely wrong."


  Read more about Senate Dems block key plank of Obama trade agenda

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