Why TPP Vote Count Doesn't Add Up

At Least 9 Pro-Fast Track GOP Voters are Now "No" on TPP vs. Zero Flipping the Other Way
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Washington – Last year, just five votes in the House of Representatives would have flipped the outcome of the “fast track” trade promotion authority vote, which narrowly passed last June. Since that time, opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has grown more intense across the ideological spectrum.

At least nine House Republicans who voted for fast track have announced that they oppose the TPP and would vote against the trade pact should it come up for a vote, including in a lame duck session after November’s elections. In contrast, zero Members of Congress who voted against fast track have announced support for TPP. This underscores the recent comments from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who threw cold water on the prospects for passing the TPP by noting that “We don’t have the votes for it now,” in the House.

Here’s a breakdown of the nine House Republican pro-fact track voters who are anti-TPP:

  • Six House Republican pro-fast track voters released a new letter highlighting their opposition to TPP in the lame duck. As the Washington Post reported, “‘Some in your Administration reportedly believe passage of TPP should be attempted following November’s election. We respectfully, but strongly, disagree,’” the letter stated. It was signed by Reps. Candace Miller and Dave Trott of Michigan, Bill Shuster and Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, Ed Whitfield (Ky.) and Ted Yoho (Fla.).” Of note, each of these six Republican Members voted in favor of fast track last June.
  • Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) : In a video to constituents released this morning, pro-fast track voter Rep. Guinta came out in opposition to TPP, saying it “will kill good jobs.”
  • Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) : In mid-July, pro-fast track voter Rep. Bost announced that he would oppose the TPP if it comes up for a vote this Congress. Rep. Bost noted, “I believe it’s in the best interests of my district to oppose it. We must continue to work to open new markets to our farmers and manufacturers, but it needs to be on an even playing field that has tilted against American workers for too long.”
  • Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) : Last November, the pro-fast track voter Rep. Reed announced his opposition to TPP, noting, “I care about protecting American jobs and workers.”

Opposition from these pro-fast track Republican House voters, along with other developments, indicate that TPP is virtually dead.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said of the TPP, “The chances are pretty slim that we’d be looking at that this year.” On the Democratic side, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi officially announced her opposition to the TPP last week, joining longtime TPP opponent Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (as well as Sen. Reid’s likely successor as the Senate Democratic leader, Senator Chuck Schumer). And these congressional developments are occurring in the midst of a presidential cycle that has both parties’ nominees running against the TPP.