Online, Consumer, Labor and Digital Rights Groups Urge Pelosi to Help Stop Obama Attempt to Pass Unpopular Pact in Lame-Duck Session
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A coalition of progressive organizations from MoveOn and CREDO to Daily Kos and Demand Progress have collected hundreds of thousands of petition signatures calling on Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to declare her opposition to a lame-duck vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and help lead House Democrats to defeat the pact that threatens the very agenda of good jobs, higher wages, affordable medicines, and strong climate and environmental policies that Democrats espouse.
The petitions will be delivered to her district office.
With a lack of congressional support and presidential politics fanning public opposition, the only chance for congressional consideration of the TPP in 2016 is post-election. Last month, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump all announced opposition to a TPP vote in the lame-duck session — that unique moment in the political calendar when representatives who have retired or been voted out of office can still vote, and political accountability to constituents is at its absolute lowest. Most House Democrats have also announced opposition to the TPP; however, Pelosi has been surprisingly quiet on this issue.
Pelosi announced her opposition to Fast Track authority for the TPP only during the June 2015 debate on the bill. Many observers said that her lack of leadership against Fast Track during months of contentious debate enabled the White House to lobby a sufficient number of House Democrats into joining the large bloc of Republicans to pass Fast Track. Given the White House’s intense push to overcome the current shortfall in House votes for the TPP, dozens of progressive organizations have collected hundreds of thousands of signatures from their members on a petition urging Pelosi to publicly oppose a lame-duck vote on the TPP and lead House Democrats, now, before it is too late, in ensuring the majority against the TPP in Congress is maintained.
Statements from coalition organizations
Murshed Zaheed, vice president and political director, CREDO: “Jamming the politically toxic Trans-Pacific Partnership through Congress during the lame-duck session would be a deeply cynical and undemocratic giveaway to major multinational corporations. The simple fact is, the more the American people learn about the TPP, the less they like it. Leader Pelosi should join the overwhelming majority of Democrats and take a public stand against a lame-duck vote on the TPP.”
Lori Wallach, director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch: “The TPP poses an unprecedented threat to the goals Leader Pelosi advocates for, from good jobs and higher wages to strong climate policies and affordable medicines, to LGBTQ and other human rights. Plus, the TPP is opposed by the vast majority of House Democrats and both Democratic presidential candidates, so many people are eager for Leader Pelosi to get out publicly against the pact and ensure there is no lame-duck vote on it.”
Jeremy Malcolm, senior global policy analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation: “The TPP is bad for tech users and innovators. It will prevent the U.S. from improving parts of its law that simply aren’t working in the digital age, like our 40 year-old Copyright Act, and does nothing to safeguard the free and open Internet.”
Emma Einhorn, Washington coordinator, MoveOn.org: “MoveOn members have opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership since 2012. Over 200,000 members have signed petitions, called their representatives and rallied in the streets to fight this disastrous trade deal. The bottom line is that the Trans-Pacific Partnership was not written by or for people, but by and for powerful corporate interests who want to be able to challenge any law that could affect their profits, even when it’s in the public interest.”
Cloe Franko, senior organizer, Corporate Accountability International: “People across the country are vehemently opposed to the TPP, and their outcry has delayed a vote in Congress for months. We cannot allow this dangerous and undemocratic agreement to come before Congress at a time when our elected officials are least accountable to us. This is why thousands of Corporate Accountability International members are calling on Leader Pelosi to be a true leader for democracy and the public interest by taking a firm stand against the TPP.”
Meghan Sali, digital rights specialist, OpenMedia: “The TPP will break our digital future and cost Americans their jobs. Trying to sneak this agreement through when Congress is at its least accountable exemplifies just how undemocratic this process has been from the very start.”
Arthur Stamoulis, executive director, Citizens Trade Campaign: “Voters have had enough of backroom trade deals that benefit big corporations at the expense of working families. With Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, the vast majority of House Democrats and almost the entire Democratic base united against the TPP, it’s long past time for Leader Pelosi to speak out publicly against this disastrous proposal.”
Roger Hickey, co-director and co-founder, Campaign for America’s Future: “If the Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, allow a lame-duck vote on TPP after the election, they will be making a big mistake. A lame-duck vote on TPP will be bad for the country – and bad for all working Americans. And it will be bad for U.S. democracy – because holding it will represent an attempt to override the results of the November election.”
Alliance for Retired Americans
Campaign for America’s Future
Citizens Trade Campaign
Electronic Frontier Foundation
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
People Demanding Action