It is chilling to think how this measure by the House to fast track the Colombia FTA was defeated by only 29 votes, 195 mostly Republican Reps voted to make this thing happen on the Bush fast track. That means 195 people who we elected don't think that this is worth investigation. You can see who's-who here
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Here's Mike Halls' AFL-CIO WebBlog Post from (4/10/08) :
House Takes Colombia Trade Deal Out of Fast Track
The U.S. House of Representatives, this afternoon, told President Bush there will be no Fast Track for his flawed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). By a 224–195 vote, the House removed Fast Track’s 90-day deadline for an up or down vote on the deal.
The vote will delay consideration of the deal indefinitely, probably until Bush leaves office in January.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the time limit should be lifted because Congress and the president should be focusing their energy on the needs of America’s working families as the economy staggers toward a recession, not on the flawed trade deal.
The violence against trade union members in Colombia has claimed more than 2,500 lives since 1986, including 39 murdered in 2007, and another 17 killed so far in 2008—a rate of more than one a week. Yet the Colombian government has obtained convictions in less than 3 percent of the cases and has done little to stop the bloodshed or guarantee worker and human rights in the country.
Said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney:
The AFL-CIO position on the Colombia FTA remains unchanged: The violence, murders, impunity, and violations of workers’ rights in Colombia must end. Until and unless the Colombian government achieves sustained results on the ground to that effect, the AFL-CIO will muster all its resources in opposition to this agreement.
Because the Colombia deal was negotiated under the now-expired Trade Promotion Authority or Fast Track, it normally would have had to be voted within 90 legislative days, but Pelosi said the House has the right to set its own rules.