BETRAYAL ON TRADE BY DEMOCRATIC LEADERS

What is it about “NO” that the Democratic congressional leaders don’t get?

What is it about “NO” that the Democratic congressional leaders don’t get?

Less than a year ago, one of the top issues in congressional elections was adamant voter opposition to the NAFTA-style corporate trade scams that both Bill Clinton and George W have hung around the necks of regular folks in our county and in Latin America. The new class of more populist-minded Democrats made “No More NAFTAs” a grassroots battle cry in the 2006 elections, and 37 of them displaced incumbents who had been backers of the corporate deals.

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Their election put the Democratic party in charge of congress. So, what is one of the first things that the newly-ensconced old-guard of the party did? They agreed to try hanging yet another NAFTA around our necks! Working with speaker Nancy Pelosi, House ways and means chairman Charlie Rangel recently pushed a business-as-usual trade pact with Peru through his committee.

Oh, sure, they dressed this one up with some new baubles and bows but, at its core, the Peruvian deal is the same old giveaway to corporate power. A clue as to how bad of a deal this one is came when the Bush White House and corporate interests lustily applauded Rangel’s bill.

Why would Democratic leaders betray the members and voters who put them in power? Because the leadership is financially tied to the Wall Street and corporate honchos who profit from these trade scams.

An indication of just how shaky the leadership is on this key issue is that Rangel didn’t even allow a public hearing on the Peru pact – and he passes it by voice vote, so the public wouldn’t be able to hold the betrayers accountable. The good news, however, is that rank-and-file House Democrats oppose this dirty deal and will fight it on the floor. For information on how to help them say “NO,” call Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch 202-454-5106.

“House Panel Approves A Trade Pact With Peru,” The New York Times, September 26, 2007

“House Committee Vote Masks Lack of Democratic Rank-and-File Support for Bush NAFTA Expansion to Peru,” www.citizen.org, September 25, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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