Via Politico: Sanders Threatens A Platform Fight Over TPP & Fracking
Bernie Sanders has one big demand when the Democratic National Committee’s full platform committee meets in Orlando on Friday: Put the party on record as strongly opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
When the 187-member panel considers amendments to the draft platform hammered out by the 15-person drafting committee, Sanders’ allies will look to push a long list of policy tweaks: a carbon tax, a ban on fracking, and language promising to expand Medicare.
Opposing the TPP — the sweeping 12-nation trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration — is the biggest prize.
Both presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Sanders oppose the TPP, but only Sanders has been full-throated in his insistence that trade deals hurt American workers. Clinton has been far more nuanced, suggesting that she might have supported a version of the deal with more worker protections.
Since the platform-drafting process began, Sanders and his supporters have ramped up efforts to get the party to add language unequivocally opposing the deal. Jim Hightower, a Sanders campaign surrogate, will introduce an amendment that reads “It is the policy of the Democratic Party that the Trans-Pacific Partnership must not get a vote in this Congress or in future sessions of Congress.”
The Sanders team is hoping to prevail on top liberal leaders and interest groups to push anti-TPP language. The sense among Sanders, as well as many other progressives, is that language opposing the TPP is one of the last missing puzzle pieces in a platform that party leaders have hailed as one of the most progressive ever produced by the party.
“The overwhelming majority of Democrats are strongly opposed to this disastrous trade agreement,” Sanders said in a statement on Thursday. “If both Secretary Clinton and I agree that the TPP should not get to the floor of Congress this year, it’s hard to understand why this amendment would not be overwhelmingly passed.”