What's Happening: The President's Trade Bill Implodes
It was a bad day on the Hill for Obama today. Even though his controversial trade package seemed likely to pass, it failed after fellow Democrats left him at the House altar.
What’s this all about? The Trade Adjustment Assistance bill would have paved the way for the largest free-trade bill in history. It would have given the president power to finalize trade agreements with a dozen Pacific Rim countries, and later the European Union, and send them to a vote in Congress without amendments. As the bill’s passage grew uncertain, President Obama went to Capitol Hill on Friday to make a final impassioned pitch.
Flanked by unions: The package failed largely because Democrats didn’t respond to the president’s personal plea. They defeated a related measure known as Trade Adjustment Assistance, effectively halting Obama’s entire trade agenda. But, as Russell Berman writes in The Atlantic, “the party responsible for its demise was a coalition whose numbers have diminished for decades and whose political clout has been questioned: the American labor movement.”
- David Sims: “The biggest flaw in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is right there in the title: the first word, specifically.”
- Adrienne La France: “The players in an emerging global power struggle that will largely take place online are all new, and they’re using tools that the U.S. government still doesn’t seem to understand.”
- Rob Meyer: “Twitter has, however, been widely embraced by two industries: journalists and marketers. Journalists have made it integral to the news cycle, the place to go for first-person sources and photos of any event. Marketers like it because it is a simple, cheap way to reach a mass audience anytime, anywhere. Neither of these two groups, though, create the sort of user who keeps people actually coming back: someone’s friends.”