What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Preventing Workers' Rights From Being Eroded by International Trade Agreements : H.R. 3009. Trade Promotion Authority/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill Enabling the President to Place International Trade Agreements Above Worker and Environmental Protections.
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H.R. 3009. Trade Promotion Authority/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill Enabling the President to Place International Trade Agreements Above Worker and Environmental Protections.
house Roll Call 369     Jul 26, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Since 1994, trade agreements between the U.S. President and leaders of foreign countries have required congressional approval (treaties with foreign countries, it should be noted, require congressional approval as specified in the Constitution; international trade agreements, however, are not treaties). In an effort to provide President Bush with additional power in foreign trade negotiations, congressional Republicans sought passage of a bill which would restrict Congress's ability to modify executive agreements with foreign nations. These so-called "fast-track" or "trade promotion authority" powers granted to the president would limit Congress to an up-or-down vote on any international trade agreement; no amendments to the agreement would be allowed. Progressives opposed the grant of authority to the executive so as to preserve congressional influence in international affairs; restricting congressional input to an up-ordown vote, Progressives argued, would diminish Congress's power and undermine the constitutionally-mandated separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government. The subject of this vote was a rule governing debate on a conference report which would provide the president with trade promotion authority for international trade agreements reached before June 1, 2005. Before legislation can be considered on the House floor, a rule drafted by the House Rules Committee-an arm of the majority party leadership-must be adopted to set parameters on debate. Progressives opposed the rule based on their objections to the underlying legislation. The rule was adopted on a 220-200 vote.

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