Background-State of Play
Some of this I wrote a couple of days ago. This comes down to 14 Senate Democrats who voted, in the last fast track vote, with Republicans, to destroy middle class jobs.
In May, 13 Democratic Senators voted for cloture on the original fast track bill. Had four of these 13 Democratic Senators voted with the majority of the Democrats who voted against cloture, fast track would have failed in the Senate and it most likely would have died right there:
On the final passage of the Senate bill, Ben Cardin (MD) voted for passage, though he had voted no on the cloture vote.
Then, the bill went to the House. And, as we know, essentially, it initially stopped there because the House voted overwhelmingly against the Trade Assistance Adjustment (which I call “burial insurance”).
The House, then, passed fast track as a separate piece of legislation, stripped of the TAA.
That requires that the bill go back to the Senate for a vote on fast track. The gamesmenship on this is simple. The president and the party he has united behind him–THE REPUBLICAN PARTY–want the Senate Democrats to vote first on fast track and, then vote on the TAA and, then, believe that the House–which rejected the TAA 126-302–will, then, pass the TAA bill.
Trust me, the president and his Republican allies say. This will happen--because John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are trustworthy and control their caucuses. Now, I have large tracts of Florida swampland for any of the Democrats who, in fact, proceed under the belief that they can trust these two gents (and I use “gents” quite loosely), or, on this matter, the president.
And, indeed, some Democrats are quite leery of this approach.
Which brings me to:
For all those people who buy the new, improved, “progressive” Clinton, this is a simple vote: are you with big corporations or are you with workers/labor/environmentalists?
Candidate Clinton said just recently:
On Thursday night, in an interview with Jon Ralston, Hillary Clinton declared that she would “probably” vote against giving Obama fast-track trade authority if she were still in the Senate, depending on the status of a companion measure assisting workers who lose jobs because of trade deals. But the pressure is still on Clinton to make it more clear where she stands.
She isn’t in the Senate. But, she has more leverage than Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley to influence the 14 Democrats. She has it in her power to shift enough votes to kill fast track.
She served with the 14.
Of the 14, ten have explicitly endorsed her candidacy as of April: Cardin, Cantwell, Feinstein, Heitkamp, Nelson, Kaine, McCaskill, Murray, Shaheen and Warner.
This is simple: today, she needs to call on those 10, who support her candidacy for president, to vote against cloture as a clear sign of what she “probably” would have done in the Senate.
It’s a clear vote.
It’s a clear choice.
WHO SHOULD YOU CALL?
Whether you are just so deeply distrustful that you don't believe a word Clinton says, or perhaps you are a tad less cynical and believe she's purposely made a twisted, poll-tested statement that allows her to take essentially no meaningful position, it's probably best to rely on what you can do to pressure the 14 Democrats.
Here are their numbers below; I've included the D.C. office and at least one state office number.
Added: incentive to those of you from Washington--labor is pressuring Patty Murray in particular:
What also could influence her vote: Murray’s fellow Washington state Democratic senator, Maria Cantwell, warned in an interview that she is prepared to block the legislation this week.
“I’m a ‘no’ because I want to get a certainty that we’re going to take care of workers who are laid off,” said Cantwell, who joined Murray in voting to advance the trade package last month after furiously negotiating a last-ditch deal on the floor.
Even if you don't hail from one of the states represented by one of the 14, pick one or more and call; you can still make the point that, as a Democrat who donates money and volunteers, this vote will determine what you will do in 2016 in terms of contributing and assisting Democrats.
Michael Bennet (CO)
Ben Cardin (MD)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Tom Carper (DE)
Chris Coons (DE)
Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Tim Kaine (VA)
Claire McCaskill (MO)
Patty Murray (WA)
Jeanne Shaheen (NH)
Mark Warner (VA)
Ron Wyden (OR)