Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes Against Granting Fast-Track Authority on Trade Deals
June 18, 2015
Citing Support for Public Safety Employees, Gabbard Criticizes Tactic to Pass Fast-Track Bill
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted against allowing the Administration’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “fast-track.” Republican leadership attached the fast-track measure to an unrelated bill that serves public safety workers. The legislation, H.R. 2146, allows firefighters and other public safety employees who have forced retirement requirements to take early withdrawals from a government pension without being penalized. Gabbard also voted against the fast-track legislation last week.
“It is an affront to the American people that leaders in Congress have attached fast-track authority legislation to a wholly unrelated bill that serves our firefighters and public safety workers,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “I strongly support the original version of H.R. 2146, which enables our nation’s firefighters and law enforcement officers to access their pension funds when they are mandated to retire before age 65. However, I voted against the measure today because this fast-track legislation takes away the opportunity for the American people’s voice to be heard in determining our future.
“Instead, fast-track legislation places our future in the hands of multinational corporations and foreign governments. The American people are deeply concerned about how any potential trade deal will impact their jobs, livelihood, and our economy, and they deserve to have their voices heard through Congress in the trade negotiating process.”
Trade Promotion Authority allows the Administration to negotiate trade deals behind closed doors, and then send the finished deal to Congress for an up or down vote, without allowing lawmakers to amend. The House of Representatives passed fast-track authority by a vote of 218-208. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.