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Relating to the Consideration of H.R. 5724, United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act

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Location: Washington, DC


RELATING TO THE CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 5724, UNITED STATES-COLOMBIA TRADE PROMOTION AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION ACT -- (House of Representatives - April 10, 2008)

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Mr. DeFAZIO. For a Republican minority, and particularly the gentleman from California, who whine day in and day out about their inability to offer amendments to even the most minor of bills, I've never seen a group so eager to give up their right, in fact, the right of every Member of this House to offer an amendment to this trade agreement in a rush to rubber-stamp yet another failed so-called free trade agreement.

As one Republican pointed out, yeah, its been the policy since 1974. Guess what? 1974 we were the manufacturing colossus of the world. We ran trade surpluses. We had a robust middle class in America. It was bad policy then. But after 24 years of that bad trade policy, our manufacturing's cut in half. The middle class is losing ground. They're unemployed. We're borrowing $2 billion a day from the rest of the world, including Communist China, to buy things that we used to make here in America, and they think we should do more of the same.

I've heard this and played this game before. I've never voted for one. But every President since I've been here, Republican and Democrat, says, hey, we negotiated this deal in secret. You can't fail us now. Yeah, it's got big problems, but we'll fix them later.

Guess what? Later never comes. Because this Congress, until today, has never had a spine to stand up to the special interests that are pushing failed trade policies, policies that fail the American people to benefit a few on Wall Street. This is about Main Street.

The House is growing a spine today. This is a great day and the beginning of a new trade policy for the American people.

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