Progressive PAC Threatens "Free Trade Democrats" with Primary Challenges

Posted June 24, 2015

MP3 Interview with Jim Dean, chairman of the progressive group Democracy for America, conducted by Scott Harris

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After a June 12 vote derailing crucial fast track trade legislation in the House of Representatives, President Obama backed by a coalition of Republicans and a handful of Democrats, recovered momentum by winning a second House vote – and appear poised to win approval in the U.S. Senate. The passage of fast track, or Trade Promotion Authority, is a necessary pre-requisite for later ratification of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, or TPP that would set trade rules between the U.S. and 11 other nations.

A recent poll conducted by CBS and the New York Times found that Americans surveyed oppose congressional adoption of fast track by a 55 to 42 percent margin. With final Senate passage of fast track expected on June 24, opponents of the measure – made up of a national coalition of labor, environmental and consumer groups – have vowed to continue the fight against the Trans Pacific Partnership and pledged to punish those Democratic legislators who support President Obama's free trade agenda.

Jim Dean, chairman of the group Democracy for America warned, "Democrats who allowed the passage of Fast Track Authority for the job-killing TPP, should know that we will not lift a finger or raise a penny to protect you when you're attacked in 2016, we will encourage our progressive allies to join us in leaving you to rot, and we will actively search for opportunities to primary you with a real Democrat." Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Dean who, discusses the fundamental danger for democracy that he sees in the push for free trade legislation and the threat he's leveled at Democratic legislators who vote for its passage.

For more information visit Democracy for America at democracyforamerica.com; Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch at citizen.org/trade; Institute for Policy Studies at ips-dc.org/projects/global-economy.

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