WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will change its rules so as to skirt a requirement that it vote on a free trade agreement with Colombia.
Pelosi says the House will vote on the rules change policy Thursday, effectively putting off a vote on a free trade agreement that is a key priority of the Bush administration.
"The president took his action. I will take mine tomorrow," Pelosi said.
This is the same group, whining about the Iraqi Assembly's lack of political resolve and legislation. Can you say "irony"?
I'm not a huge fan of the NAFTA/GATT/CAFTA agreements. Then again, I'm not quite sure of another way to deal with trade in this global world that is equitable to US companies. Afterall, they are slammed financially with OSHA requirements, environmental requirements, union wages and corporate/payroll taxes... all making it nigh on impossible to compete with foreign manufacturers not subject to the same, heavy handed government mandates.
Then again, the DNC changing the rules of the game to suit their whims isn't anything new. Nor is it the last hole they themslves dug - holes in which they are about to trip into. Just keep the eyes peeled on seating (or not seating) Florida and Michigan delegates. A primary election that is bogus to the core either because of candidates' not appearing on the ticket.
For a group that preaches no more "divisions", no "racial or gender" bias, and the unfairness of it all to "disenfranchise voters", they've pretty much succeeded in proving they are *all* about race and gender, they'll change Congressional rules to keep "divides" in legislation alive and well, and they have no problem disenfranchising voters because that's how they set up their rules.... rules they'll change to harrass Bush, but not to rescue their own voter blocks.
UPDATE APRIL 10TH, 2008: One day later, the WSJ has a top notch op-ed about the DNC's defection from reality.
The Colombia trade pact was signed in 2006 and renegotiated last year to accommodate Democratic demands for tougher labor and environmental standards. Even after more than 250 consultations with Democrats, and further concessions, including promises to spend more on domestic unemployment insurance, the deal remained stalled in Congress. Apparently the problem was that Democrats kept getting their way.
So on Monday, President Bush submitted the bill to Congress over liberal protests, which, under a bargain between Congress and the White House for trade promotion authority, mandated an up-or-down vote within 90 days. Today Ms. Pelosi will make an ex post facto change to House rules to avoid the required vote, withdrawing from the timetable and thus relegating the Colombia deal to a perhaps permanent limbo.
Democrats say it would have failed anyway, but at least a vote during the next three months would have forced them to show the courage of their protectionist convictions. Instead, they chose to shelve the bill in an election year while paying off organized labor and other antitrade yahoos. The gambit is especially humiliating for Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, a free-trader who has been trying to strike a deal with the Administration but keeps getting rolled by Ms. Pelosi.
For good measure, the double-cross dismantles the only process that allows any Administration to conduct good-faith negotiations with foreign nations. No one is going to take the U.S. at its word if Congress is going to change the rules when it has second thoughts and renege.
With the DNC, it's always something. But there is no doubt this has everything to do with politics. Most especially on the heels of both BHO and HRC slamming NAFTA publicly. It would just not do to have the Dem led Congress to pass something they've planning on doing so, proving they are again lying thru their teeth to their fan base.
However, as the WSJ op-ed points out, for a group whining about the US "image" in the world, they are doing more than their fair share of keeping that image in the toilet.
Even if the free trade agreement is somehow removed from cold storage, Ms. Pelosi's cheating is a first-order strategic blunder. Colombia is one of America's closest friends in a hostile region menaced by Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. For all the talk of repairing the U.S. "image" in the world, the Democrats don't really mind harming that image if it pleases the AFL-CIO.
Amen to that one. It's gonna be a fun four years coming up....