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It is early and the vote hasn’t yet happened, but it appears that the House is going to reject fast track trade authority for Obama.
I need to provide some clarification. This fast track authority is not an actual trade bill, but a procedure that has been used since FDR to make the negotiation process on trade bills easier for the president. For some reason Congress needs to now renew it for Obama.
That Congressmen from both parties are reluctant to renew this grant of presidential power indicates a shift of political power back to Congress. The argument, that this power has been routinely granted since FDR, is not carrying the weight it once did. Instead, there is movement to refuse the president this extra power, partly because there is distrust of Obama because of his abuses of power and executive authority and partly because the voters have elected a lot of new congressmen who in general just don’t like giving presidents more power.
Expect this shift to increase in the coming years. It appears to me that this battle over fast track might be a very positive sign for the future.