The cloture motion to end debate needed 60 votes and it got just that, passing the chamber 60-37. The full roll call is here. A final vote will come on Wednesday. Having overcome the biggest hurdle, the legislation is expected to pass, and will then be sent to President Barack Obama’s desk to become law.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who campaigned vigorously against Fast Track, said the vote represented a win for corporate America. “The vote today—pushed by multi-national corporations, pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street—will mean a continuation of disastrous trade policies which have cost our country millions of decent-paying jobs,” the presidential candidate said in a statement.
And Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), another of the most vocal opponents of Fast Track, railed against TPAmoments before the vote, accusing Congress of turning on its “moral” obligation to assist the working class.
“How shameful,” Brown said. “We’re making this decision knowing that people will lose their jobs because of our action.”
According to The Hill:
Thirteen Democrats backed fast-track in Tuesday’s vote, handing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a major legislative victory. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) voted against the procedural motion.
The Democrats cast “yes” votes even though the trade package did not include a workers assistance program for people displaced by increased trade. The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program was a part of the last fast-track package approved by the Senate in May, but became a key part of opposition to the package among Democrats in the House.
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, pointed out that the vote only came about via “elaborate legislative contortions and gimmicks designed to hand multinational corporations their top priority.”
Such contortions were necessary, she added, “because the American people overwhelmingly oppose these deals, notwithstanding an endless barrage of propaganda.”