by Yvette Carnell
The book “Game Change” revealed that President Obama despises most members of the Congressional Black Caucus (representatives of his most loyal base), but when lacking votes, the president never fails to come calling on them for support.
As POLITICO reported a large number of Democrats, led first by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have been opposing the trade deal Obama is negotiating with Republicans. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it is not her responsibility to help House Republicans pass this trade deal, so Obama is once again calling on the Congressional Black Caucus, a group that will usually support Obama no matter what.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a pro-corporation and anti-labor deal, but that isn’t stopping Obama from asking CBC members to get in line. At least some CBC members are pushing back against the clarion call from Obama this time around.
From the New York Times:
Representative G. K. Butterfield, Democrat of North Carolina and the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the solidarity pitch “could be a factor.” He met personally with Mr. Obama in the Oval Office, he said. The problem is, black lawmakers tend to represent poor urban districts that have seen the glittering skyscrapers built by United States corporations flourishing in a global economy but have seen very little of that wealth find its way to constituents who struggle for jobs and pay raises in the face of fierce globalized labor competition.
Mr. Butterfield said his constituents still remembered rural North Carolina hemorrhaging jobs after the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1993. He is leaning toward no, he said, “but it’s not a hell no.”
President Obama Presses Black Caucus to Pass Trade Deal That Will Make Blacks Even Poorer
Mr. Obama should count that as a small victory. Most minds are made up in the Black Caucus, which did not give George W. Bush a single vote when he won trade promotion authority in 2002.
“There is no more loyal supporter of this president than me,” said Representative Chaka Fattah, a Democrat who represents Philadelphia. “I’m not voting for fast track.”
If you want to get some idea of at least a few of the problems with this deal, listen to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s floor speech on the issue: