Dems bring in bloodhound to ‘sniff out’ secret trade text

A group of House Democrats is bringing in the dogs in their fight for the White House to reveal the contents of President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), along with some of the strongest opponents of the trade deal on Capitol Hill, brought in Roxy the "secret TPP text-tracking" bloodhound for a press conference Thursday.

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“Another month is passing since the United States and 11 other countries announced final agreement on the [TPP], after more than seven years of closed-door negotiations," the group wrote in a release.

"But not even Congress, much less the press or public, are being allowed access to the secret TPP text,” they said. 

DeLauro along with colleagues Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have repeatedly slammed the Obama administration for classifying the text of the 12-nation TPP, which was completed nearly a month ago in Atlanta after about five years of negotiations. 

The TPP text, which has not been released yet, is undergoing a final legal scrub to prepare it for what could be months of public scrutiny before Congress takes a vote on the sweeping agreement. 

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office this week expanded access to a wider group of Capitol Hill personal office staff with the proper security clearances who work for members on the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees. 

Still, members have called on the Obama administration to release the text. 

"It’s like being in kindergarten,” DeLauro has said about the private nature of the deal. “You give back the toys at the end."

—Vicki Needham contributed.