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Urgent: Stop Fast Track!!!

Public Citizen
October 4th, 2001

Please Note: This action has been discontinued.
Thank you for your support!

Fast Track mark-up on October 5th!
Possible floor-vote next week!

Call Congress Toll-Free 1-800-393-1082 and Tell Your Member to Vote No on Fast Track

Despite the incredible inappropriateness of pushing such a controversial issue after the tragic events of September 11th, Rep Thomas (R-CA) has decided that he wants to try to push Fast Track through Congress no matter what.

Today at a press conference, Thomas unveiled his Fast Track bill, tried to label it as a bi-partisan measure, and scheduled it for a mark-up in the Ways and Means committee on this coming Friday, October the 5th (a "mark up" is when a bill gets voted on in the relevant committee clearing the way for a floor vote).

This is no bi-partisan bill -- instead it is a lite-version of the truly offensive GOP Crane Fast Track bill. There are a few Democratic co-sponsors -- but these are Members who would have supported the original Crane bill and not some moderate Democrats. In fact, the vast majority of Democrats are disgusted with Thomas for his crass political profiteering and lack of bi-partisanship (see attached Dear Colleague letter from some leading Democrats in the House).

Thanks to the great work done by people like yourself around the country -- we have been able to stall of Fast Track. Now Thomas is playing a game of chicken. The Fast Track bill can only get momentum if there is a perception that there is no cost for moving forward. We need to do a sudden pile on to any and all swing members and also to Speaker Hastert. Thomas is going to have a hard time pushing his bill through -- especially if we all join forces and start calling our Members of Congress NOW to tell them to oppose Fast Track.

The AFL-CIO has put up a toll-free number to the Capitol: 1-800-393-1082 (you just have to enter your zip-code to get connected to your Member), and we need your help in making the call and giving that number out to friends/family/co-workers/neighbors and having them make the calls as well.

Rep. Thomas is talking about a possible floor-vote next week and we will keep you updated with the latest information.

Some talking points:

  1. This is no time to bring up a controversial and divisive issue like Fast Track. Congress needs to focus on issues that unites it, as well as the responses to the terrorist attacks.

  2. Fast Track will set the terms of U.S. trade and investment policies for the next 5-10 years and needs a thoughtful and thorough debate.

  3. There is nothing bi-partisan about Thomas' proposal, and does not address in any meaningful way the real negative impacts that trade agreements like NAFTA and the WTO have had on jobs, the environment and our family farmers.

After you have called your own Member, call Speaker of the House Hastert and tell him how much you appreciate how he has been working to create a bi-partisan spirit in the House and that you hope that he will oppose this crass attempt by Thomas to break it. You can reach his office in DC at 202-225-2976 (or call the toll-free number and enter the zip-code for Hastert's district: 60510.

If you have any questions about how a particular Member is leaning on Fast Track, please give us a call at 202-546-4996 (ask for any member of the Global Trade Watch field team) or e-mail mstrand@citizen.org. For more information about Fast Track, please visit www.tradewatch.org. If you want to read the Thomas Fast Track bill go to:
http://waysandmeans.house.gov/fullcomm/107cong/tpa/tpa.pdf