Warren strikes back: I’m not wrong, secrecy is wrong

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who came to national prominence as a firebrand reformer during the Financial Crisis, was probably never going to take the recent President Obama criticism without a response. What her Wednesday blog post titled “You Can’t Read This” did was raise the stakes in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) debate considerably:

The Administration says I’m wrong – that there’s nothing to worry about. They say the deal is nearly done, and they are making a lot of promises about how the deal will affect workers, the environment, and human rights. Promises – but people like you can’t see the actual deal.

For more than two years now, giant corporations have had an enormous amount of access to see the parts of the deal that might affect them and to give their views as negotiations progressed. But the doors stayed locked for the regular people whose jobs are on the line.

If most of the trade deal is good for the American economy, but there’s a provision hidden in the fine print that could help multinational corporations ship American jobs overseas or allow for watering down of environmental or labor rules, fast track would mean that Congress couldn’t write an amendment to fix it. It’s all or nothing.

Before we sign on to rush through a deal like that – no amendments, no delays, no ability to block a bad bill – the American people should get to see what’s in it.

2016 contender Hillary Clinton has tried to align herself with the “Warren Wing” of the Progressive Left, even recently having a private meeting with her to discuss policy. It seems like the days and hours are numbered where Clinton can remain on the sidelines of the growing TPP debate:

Now, pressure is intensifying from Capitol Hill on the presumed Democratic standard-bearer.

Democratic lawmakers intent on preventing fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership are calling on Clinton to take a more definitive stance on the legislation, hoping that she can tip the scales against President Barack Obama’s position.

The furthest Clinton has gone is to say that whatever agreement is reached needs to protect American workers and have appropriate safeguards. But Clinton owes it to voters — and to the Democratic Party — to more explicitly spell out her views on such a critical issue, a number of Democrats on Capitol Hill who oppose the fast-track authority and the emerging multination agreement told POLITICO.