This post originally appeared on RingofFireRadio.com.
The United States Congress voted to allow fast-track authority for disastrous trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to go through the legislative process with little to no debate. Congress essentially removed itself from debating the provisions of the TPP, reportedCrooks and Liars.
This sets a dangerous precedent. The duty of Congress is to debate and amend the array of legislative proposals that travel through both chambers, inducing trade deals. U.S. senators and representatives have now given that power to large corporations, further weakening the representation of the American public.
Now that Congress has essentially gagged itself from debating the provisions of TPP, both liberal and conservative grassroot activists are stepping up to oppose the trade deal and fast-track authority. Crooks and Liars noted that companies that have mainly outsourced labor support the TPP while companies that still produce in America don’t support it.
For a while, corporations bought their way into the legislative process, manipulating politicians’ opinions with campaign contributions. Now, it seems that corporations have begun making our Congress totally obsolete.
Completely and totally dissolving the United State Congress may be a little far-fetched, but that isn’t to say that multinational corporations won’t try to make the American legislative process obsolete, if only partially. The actions of the corporations during the fast-track fight prove this. When politicians started fighting the trade agenda, the corporate money came rolling in.
Eventually, the fighting politicians gave. Money talks, and corporations ultimately got their way.
It started with the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a key measure to TPP’s success. The TPA was designed to eliminate Congress’s ability to debate the TPP’s provisions. As more Democrats opposed, corporations ramped up its contributions. Many Democratic Senators who were against or undecided about TPA, eventually voted to pass it.
Corporate cash now plays a bigger role in American politics than the people, and our politicians became money-grubbing automatons. Corporate interests are the top priority, and this week’s trade disaster is proof.
Sign up for Our Newsletter
Get updates about the policies and topics that matter the most to you. Progressive news directly to your email.