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Next Week, Corporate Congress Takes Another Run at Fast Track, Oil Export Ban

Business for DemocracyAfter handing President Barack Obama a stunning defeat today on his push for Fast Track authority, the McConnell-Boehner Congress comes back to Washington on Monday. Lawmakers are expected to try again to push the anti-democratic, pro-corporate measure through the U.S. House of Representatives.

The legislation would allow the president to sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — or any other dangerous trade deal — before Congress has voted to approve it. He could then railroad the deal through Congress in only 90 days, with limited debate and no amendments allowed. Fast Track supporters claim that their proposals would improve Fast Track, but a close look at the bill reveals the same fundamental flaws as past Fast Track bills. Public Citizen is all over this; follow our trade-specific Twitter feed at @PCGTW.

The Corporate Congress has other public interest attacks planned. Here are a couple of other things we are tracking:

• Lawmakers on Wednesday once again will talk about whether and how to lift the U.S. ban on exporting oil. But doing so is bad policy and would be bad for consumers. Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, will testify before the House Committee on Small Business and explain why.

• At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on long-term financing of the Highway Trust Fund. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a similar hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday. Lawmakers are considering financing highway projects with such proposals as the “repatriation holiday,” which would let multinational corporations voluntarily bring back profits held offshore at a tax rate much lower than the 35 percent rate they would normally owe. One rate, proposed by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), is 6.5 percent, which the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated would lose $118 billion over 10 years.