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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Sanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan MORE (I-Vt.) said the defeat of President Obama’s trade legislation in the House on Friday was the right outcome for average Americans.
“The House has put a kibosh on the Trans-Pacific [Partnership],” he said at a rally at Drake University in Des Moines late Friday, according to The Des Moines Register.
“Our trade policies over the last 40 years … have been a disaster,” Sanders said. “TPP is a continuation of these disastrous trade policies.”
“Today, the good side won,” he added.
The House on Friday shocked the White House by voting against Trade Adjustment Assistance, a federal program granting aid to workers displaced by trade.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spearheaded backlash against the bill.
Afterward, the House approved trade promotion authority, or “fast-track,” which allows Congress only an up-or-down vote on trade deals negotiated by the White House.
Fast-track becoming law is the key to TPP, a proposed trade pact with 12 Pacific Rim nations. But fast-track can only get to Obama’s desk if the workers-aid bill passes as well.
Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, said the debate over the trade package had brought attention to an issue often ignored by the public.
He warned that TPP could have a significant negative effect on U.S. jobs.
“It’s not a sexy issue … but it is enormous,” Sanders said of trading policies.
“Since 2001, we have lost some 60,000 factories in this country and millions of decent-paying jobs,” he said. “Trade isn’t the only reason for these losses, but it is the major reason.”
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