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Hi - so the vote has been moved to this morning but here's the play-by-play of last night's debate (with commentary of course) from

10:58 pm: The reps are signing off, and so are we, until around 10 tomorrow morn.

10:55 pm: Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio), a rockstar, and true heir to now-Sen. Sherrod Brown's (D-Ohio) seat. Representin' Lorain, mos def.

10:47 pm: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), one of the CAFTA 15, almost got kicked out of office by Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, who challenged his pro-CAFTA vote, and went on to be elected on a fair trade platform in the neighboring district.

10:43 pm: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) lectures FTA critics as arrogant for pointing out the Peruvians oppose the deal, because their elected officials support the deal. This is the same government that is today breaking a strike, the same elite that privatized their social security system and marginalized the poor. In the words of Peru's largest indigenous federation when they appealed (PDF) to the US Congress to oppose the deal,

It is very unfortunate that our own Republic’s Congress approved the signing of such a damaging treaty as the Peru FTA. Our democracy is still weak, due in part to the ongoing history of colonialism and racism that excludes meaningful input from affected indigenous communities who fight against exploitation and marginalization. All this leads us to place our hope in your colleagues and above all in you, the members of the U.S. Congress, to represent the best of democracy in our hemisphere and vote down this shameful Peru FTA.

10:39 pm: Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) brought tears and applause to the room, arguing for the no vote. He said some pro-FTA character told him that he should vote for the deal but then talk to his constituents about currency manipulation. Hare said, "I better wear a football helmet if I try, cuz he's going to try to hit me."

10:32 pm: Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), one of the CAFTA 15, making her fourth consecutive vote for NAFTA expansion.

10:26 pm: Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) gives some questionable dating advice: "Sometimes, you have to take yes for an answer." Oh wait, no he was just talking about the Peru FTA.

10:20 pm: Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), one of the cofounders of the House Trade Working Group. Calls the "Peru FTA junker" the same "ol NAFTA lemon." "The actual benefits of NAFTA are about as real as the tooth fairy," mentions the promise that immigration would be reduced, but the opposite happened. "The enemy of the good is the bad," in response to the claim that "The enemy of the good is the perfect."

10:13 pm: Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) sez he hasn't "been a purist on trade." That's true: he voted the fair trade position during the Clinton years, and then switched to an anti-fair trade position on 7/9 trade votes during the Bush years. (The two where the political pressure was the highest - CAFTA and Fast Track - he voted the fair trade position.) He's been one of the staunchest advocates of Bush's NAFTA expansion to Peru.

10:08 pm: Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), the presidential candidate who once led the GOP charge against NAFTA, representing the GOP that 2-to-1 think the trade status quo is a bad idea.

10:03 pm: Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), another very odd vote for the Peru FTA. Says he "voted against all of em" - referring to trade agreements. "This deal isn't perfect, no one this floor is either."

10:01 pm: Gotta love the Texas delegation. Rep. Jeb Hensarling ☼ (R-Texas) is part of the state's delegation that received by far the most corporate money in 2007 from the 13 corporations most interested in pushing the Peru FTA.

9:52 pm: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) reminds folks that Pelosi and Hoyer voted FOR NAFTA. Reminds folks of how much people were excited about the Jordan FTA, which did not turn out as planned. Points out plenty of benefits for Newmont Mining and Citigroup if the thing passes.

9:41 pm: Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), an all around GOP leader on trade, "where in the world is this country going?" "Some fat cat somewhere is going to make big bucks," in a great N.C. accent.

9:38 pm: Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) on enforcement: "President Bush has never inconvenienced multinational corporations.... IF you vote for this agreement, it's because you have faith in George Bush."

9:35 pm: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), for the Peru FTA, possibly the most out of step with his constituents of any of the Dems, who have locked themselves down in civil disobedience at his Portland office.

9:26 pm: Rep. Tim Ryan (R-Wis.) talked about all the brilliant export growth to our FTA nations, failing to mention that our export growth rate to FTA countries as a whole are below that of non-FTA countries.

9:20 pm: Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Ohio) of Cleveland, very oddly for the Peru FTA. Here's what she had to say about the virtually identical CAFTA:

Mrs. JONES of Ohio. I would like to thank the gentleman from New York for this opportunity to be heard. Mr. Speaker, I rise today against CAFTA because the agreement not only lacks significant labor protections for workers in the CAFTA countries, but also lacks necessary support for American workers. Charity begins at home. Let us not talk about our neighbors' workers. Let us talk about our own workers. With international trade comes economic pain. The United States has lost 2.8 million manufacturing jobs since January 2001. In Ohio, we have lost 200,000 jobs. Past administrations and Congresses have acknowledged a relationship between international trade and domestic job losses by having created the Trade Adjustment Assistance program in 1962 and subsequently expanding it. The program assists workers who have lost their jobs due to international trade by extending unemployment compensation and providing job training. Training is arguably the most important TAA component, as education and learning new skills is essential to finding a new job. During the Ways and Means Committee markup, I introduced an amendment that addressed that problem in order to keep up with worker demand. Unfortunately, that amendment was rejected. Additionally, during CAFTA markup, the Senate Finance Committee adopted an amendment that would have expanded TAA. Unfortunately, that provision was stripped from the CAFTA legislation. So right now there is nothing in TAA or in this final CAFTA legislation to assist American workers that have lost their jobs. Even a provision that Chairman Thomas originally included in the bill is stripped from the legislation. That study would have looked into whether TAA should be expanded as a result of any negative effects of CAFTA. So I ask, where is the commitment to the American worker in the CAFTA bill? NAFTA, CAFTA, SHAFTA for American workers.

For the record, Bush says he'll veto TAA, and "necessary support for American workers" is not in the picture. NAFTA, CAFTA, PUFTA, SHAFTA for American workers.

9:18 pm: Levin, without substantiation, says that the social security issue is without substantiation. But House staff, likely his own, admitted that such a case could be brought.

9:15 pm: Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), who nearly lost his seat lost year due to his tie-breaking votes on Fast Track and CAFTA, is in opposition. Smart guy! He points out that small business groups are frustrated that scarce congressional resources and time was spent pushing an "unpopular trade deal" with Peru, while ignoring China trade and other issues.

9:10 pm: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) brings the pain, and bashes Citibank.

9:04 pm: Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), who has voted for EVERY SINGLE EXPANSION OF NAFTA, and the anti fair trade position on 18/19 votes, made us drink twice in our drinking game: "ARE YOU WITH AMERICA, OR YOU WITH HUGO CHAVEZ?!" Not quite as soul stirring as "Mr. Gorbachev, tear this wall down!" but I'm always happy to have an opportunity to drink.

8:56 pm: Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the CAFTA czar, not surprisingly FOR the expansion of CAFTA and NAFTA to Peru.

8:54 pm: Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), from Flint, Mich., against the Peru FTA. Points out that not only Bush, but ALL presidents he has worked with from both parties do not bother to enforce trade rules.

8:50 pm: Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), who has voted for 19/19 unfair trade votes, not surprisingly for the Peru FTA, and leaving Congress next year.

8:48 pm: Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the NAFTA czar, not surprisingly FOR the expansion of NAFTA to Peru. He talks about how his part of the party talks about the need for pensions and other economic strategies, but only delivers on trade.

8:45 pm: Why are they making Jerry Weller, family member of dictators, the face of the "yes" vote?

8:43 pm: Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) rejecting the FTA, saying human rights need to be put in with labor and environment rights.

8:25 pm: Rangel calls it "historic." "It's ridiculous to believe that we can create jobs without trade." "What we're talking about now is what is good for the country."

Just announced by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) that the bataan death march goes on until tomorrow morning. They'll do most of the debate tonight.

7:38 pm: Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) is taking the stand. "I have usually been on the other side of this debate than I am tonight." Tells stories about how she opposed China PNTR, increase in deficit and unsafe food. "When I saw an oporuntity for us to have labor and env standards as a core part of our trade agreement, it marked a difference from what even a Dem president was willilng to do on that score." Says she "hopes that the president of the US" will sign the TAA bill, even though he has said he will veto it. "Hopefully we can pass SCHIP" and other legislation, also things that Bush has also vetoed, as she explains why she is helping Bush out with the Peru FTA. "We cannot turn our backs on it... I don't want our party to be viewed as an anti-trade party." She says the Peru FTA "rises to the level of acceptance." Claims that the parliament of Peru passed the laws that were really passed by decree by the president, who is today crushing a labor strike. "The Peru FTA is not a big deal."

7:36 pm: Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine): "I didnt come to Washington to ignore my constituents back home." He is the leader rounding up no votes. Reminds folks that Bush is going to veto TAA.

7:33 pm: Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), one of the architects of the deal that is the reason for why Peru FTA is being voted on, he calls the Peru FTA "the antithesis of CAFTA." But Levin supported agreements exactly like NAFTA and CAFTA with Chile, Singapore, Morocco, Australia, and Bahrain, not to mention his key role in ushering the China PNTR through in 2000 - which arguably has had the largest economic impact on the U.S. economy of any trade deal.

7:28 pm: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio): "This new direction Congress offers up more of the same... [saying you support the changed preamble language as a reason for supporting the Peru FTA] it's like saying you support the preamble to the Bill of Rights but not the rights themselves." Kaptur is really challenging Drier, who is talking about Whirlpool jobs (Whirlpool is a major Peru FTA pusher). Kaptur notes that this is the same Whirpool that that just offshored all the Maytag jobs in Iowa after buying it up.

7:26 pm: Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) lauds the "progressive" advances in the Peru FTA, contrasting it with past trade deals. He doesn't mention that he voted against fair trade on 11/19 votes, including many NAFTA-style trade agreements and the WTO.

7:20 pm: Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) is speaking up as the face of the deal. Remember that he is retiring in part because of questions of his massive conflicts of interest on Latin America trade deals: namely, he has investments that benefit directly from CAFTA, and he is married into the region's leading dictatorial family after Pinochet. It's pretty rich that he is talking about democracy as the reason for passing the deal.

7:15 pm: Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) is expressing skepticism that much is changed with the Peru FTA, since the new labor and environmental provisions leave it up to Bush to decide whether to enforce them. Stupak is also concerned about the WTO food and consumer safety inspection regime that gets locked in with the Peru FTA, which prioritizes "free passage of food" over "proper regulation."

7:14 pm: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is speaking, a freshman who ran on this following platform: "I do not support trade deals that do not require fully enforceable protections for workers rights and the environment on par with protections for business. Additionally, I do not support the growing threat in these free trade deals to undermine the ability of our nation and our state to pass and enforce laws and regulations in the public interest. I would have voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, and the range of similar free trade deals that recent administrations have negotiated. Our nation needs an entirely different approach to our engagement with the global economy, a sort of global New Deal that protects jobs and democracy here, and contains specific mechanisms to raise wages and living standards in out trading partner nations. Public pressure for such a change is growing as recent polling has indicated, and I intend to be one of the prime movers in Congress for such a change." Mentions that the Peru deal is going to help lock-in social security privatization in Peru, and displace rural peasants in Peru. Also mentions we should never have any more Fast Track, and that Congress should get to amend trade pacts.

7:11 pm: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) says "we have not fully achieved the job" of trade reform.  Announces there's going to be a hearing on investor-state issues, and acknowledges that nothing on Peru FTA investor-state was changed by the deal between Bush and some Dems.

7:08 pm: Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) is opposing the bill, arguing a very basic bottom line: is our trade policy creating net manufacturing jobs or not? He says not.

7:03 pm: Chairman Rangel taking the high road from the beginning, suggesting opponents are against trade and against Latin America. Rock and roll.

7:02 pm: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) in favor of "free trade with free people," but he opposed NAFTA with Mexico. Also had a great song about it.

6:57 pm: Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), who in her campaign said, "The Republican leadership has thwarted the will of the American people, traded favors with lobbyists in the halls of our Temple of Democracy, sent our jobs overseas and voted to allow our president to torture." Now, she's on the floor asking why in the heck we're in such a rush to pass these trade deals when factories in her district are closed. She cited today's Meyerson piece that made the same point.

6:51 pm: Wanna play a fun drinking game? How many times will "Hugo Chavez" be mentioned during this debate? Drier has already said it several times. Not mentioned is the fact that Hugo Chavez rose in power in response to the implementation of neo-liberal policies in Venezuela. Message? Drier HEARTS Chavez. Drier also praises "socialist" Alan Garcia, who used to follow "bad" economic policies, but today (on the day of the Peru vote) broke a strike by workers. Not super bright, and not super socialist.

6:48 pm: Rep. David Drier (R-Calif.) is saying people that are against this trade deal are AGAINST U.S. EXPORTS, even though the U.S. International Trade Commission, the bipartisan and official source for trade projections, estimates that the U.S. global trade deficit will go up $100-300 million if the Peru FTA is signed. (A LITTLE MATH: EXPORTS - IMPORTS = TRADE DEFICIT.) He also mentioned that he wants to push forward down the slippery slope to the Colombia FTA, exactly what a lot of Washington insiders said would not happen if we just quietly let the Peru FTA pass.

6:34 pm: Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) is beginning the one hour debate on the rule, by celebrating the TAA bill passed last week in the House. Didn't mention that Bush will veto it.

Originally posted to globaltradewatch on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 06:25 AM PST.

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