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CONGRESSMAN BISHOP OPPOSES FAST-TRACK TRADE AUTHORITY

June 17, 2015 at 4:44 am

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the follow statement regarding his vote to deny the President “Fast-Track” authority to negotiate international trade agreements:

“Congress must have a meaningful role throughout the negotiating and approval process of any trade agreement,” said Congressman Bishop. “These agreements have a significant impact on many sectors of the nation’s economy. It is vital that Congress’ voice is heard loud and clear to ensure that any final trade pact protects workers rights, the environment, and jobs.”

“As a long-time proponent of the separation of governmental powers, I wholeheartedly believe that the Legislative Branch should not cede fast-tracking authority over trade negotiations to the Executive Branch,” concluded Bishop. “Voting against fast-track authority will not derail negotiations with our partners across the Pacific, but instead allow Congress to provide metered and thoughtful insight on one of the most important trade deals of our time.”

The “Fast-Track” trade authority was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 219 to 211. Legislation implementing international trade agreements would be subject to a straight up-or-down vote in Conges, and no amendments would be permitted.

The legislation passed by the House today differs from the fast-track measure approved by the U.S. Senate on May 22, 2015. The Senate bill included fast-track negotiating authority as well as an extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which provides a number of benefits and re-employment services to the U.S. workers harmed by foreign trade. The House had a separate vote on TAA, which was defeated 126 to 302. Consequentially, the fast-track bill will only make it to the President’s desk if the U.S. Senate approves the measure approved by the House today.

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