This is another in a series of ongoing posts following the announcement of a secret free trade deal on May 10, 2007 between a handful of senior Democrats and the Bush administration.
Six days after the press conference announcing a secret free trade deal between Democratic congressional leaders and the Bush White House, a full-scale revolt appears to be brewing on Capitol Hill. Rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers have demanded an immediate debate about the deal, and Democratic leaders have responded by rejecting such a request. A top Democratic senator says K Street is receiving a "wink and nod" from the White House that the final legislative language - which has not been made public - will allow the Bush administration to avoid enforcing any of the much-touted standards in the deal. GOP leaders, meanwhile, are signaling that the deal will not be incorporated into the core text of trade agreements at all. And, of course, almost every news outlet has refused to report that top K Street lobbyists have said they have received "assurances" that the deal's provisions on labor and the environment will be unenforceable. Here's today's full news report.
He has put up Emanuel's answer to the calls for transparency in this important debate:
Earlier this week the Politico reported that Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) responded to a reporter's inquiry about whether he supports lobbying reform by pulling his best Dick Cheney impression and telling the reporter to "Go f___ yourself." Coincidentally (or not) I received something of the same treatment from Emanuel in response to my ongoing coverage of the secret trade deal that Emanuel yesterday blocked a formal Democratic debate on. I received an email from Emanuel's spokesperson telling me that I "may disagree with Rahm's position on many issues and we don't necessarily care that that is the case."
What's funny/pathetic is that Emanuel (or at least his staff) seems to see the trade issue which affects the entire globe, which the American public is deeply concerned about and which was a central piece of the 2006 election as some sort of personal rivalry between lawmakers like him and writers like me. How hilarious/sad it is when Washington insiders get such a bad case of Potomac Fever that they lose all touch with reality. Again, it's reminiscent of Cheney, who in response to questions about the war said that the American public's opinion doesn't matter. Apparently, America's opposition to lobbyist written trade policy is something that leaders like Emanuel "don't necessarily care" about.
Last Monday Sirota was on Lou Dobbs Tonight to talk about this issue: