Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Overnight Energy: Democrats call for Ross to resign over report he threatened NOAA officials | Commerce denies report | Documents detail plan to decentralize BLM | Lawmakers demand answers on bee-killing pesticide Oregon Democrats push EPA to justify use of pesticide 'highly toxic' to bees MORE (D-Ore.) sent a sharp warning to his colleagues Thursday: If senators approve President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, they’re crazy. 

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“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome,” he told reporters. “If policymakers proceed to adopt the TPP they should be committed to an insane asylum.” 

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Merkley — as well as Democratic Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Senate Democrats want answers on 'dangerous' Amazon delivery system Hillicon Valley: Uber vows to defy California labor bill | Facebook, Google, Twitter to testify on mass shootings | Facebook's Libra to pursue Swiss payments license MORE (Ohio), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Ocasio-Cortez endorses Markey in Senate race amid speculation over Kennedy candidacy House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge MORE (Mass.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Democratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' MORE (Hawaii), and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyEx-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Democrats press Trump Treasury picks on donor disclosure guidelines MORE (Pa.) — are pushing President Obama to renegotiate the TPP before he sends the 12-country Pacific Rim pact to Congress. 

The trade deal has pitted Obama against top Democrats in Congress, including Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info Poll: 47 percent back limits on Senate filibuster MORE (Nev.). 

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), while giving the president credit for bolstering the economy, said the fight over the trade is a “basic disagreement.”

“We have a major disagreement with this particular trade agreement, and we hope it can be renegotiated with an eye toward focusing on wages,” he told reporters at a Thursday press conference. 

The five senators, along with fellow Democrats Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 Warren proposes new restrictions, taxes on lobbying MORE (Mass.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court Senate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (R.I.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Scarlett Johansson defends Woody Allen: 'I believe him' Trump mocks Gillibrand after exit: 'She was the one I was really afraid of!' MORE (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinFederal funding for Chinese buses risks our national security Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall The Trump downturn: Trouble ahead for the US economy MORE (Wis.) and Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersChamber of Commerce argues against Democratic proposals for financial transaction taxes Top Sanders adviser: 'He is a little bit angry' Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE (Vt.), sent a letter to Obama Thursday laying out their objections to the agreement. 

“Passing the TPP in its current form will perpetuate a trade policy that advantages corporations at the expense of American workers,” they wrote. “Passing TPP before these and other provisions are fixed will hasten the erosion of U.S. manufacturing and middle class jobs, and accelerate the corporate race to the bottom.”

GOP leaders in both chambers have said the trade agreement will not come up in the lame-duck session, despite a push by the Obama administration to get it approved. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year Congress must reinstate assault weapons ban MORE (R-Ky.) reiterated that Thursday, telling reporters, “If we were going to have another discussion about trade, it would have to be led by whoever the next president is.”

Brown, however, appeared unconvinced, saying, “If you're convinced Mitch McConnell never tells a lie, be that as it may. I don't know what they're going to do.” 

“If the president and Mitch McConnell and Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea MORE bring up TPP in the lame-duck, we will defeat it,” he said.