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Thursday, April 21, 2005

2006 Congress: CAFTA Vote Implications

Posted by Bob Brigham


WASHINGTON - Opponents of a free trade agreement with six Central American and Caribbean countries said Wednesday they have the votes to kill the deal when it comes up for a House vote.

This will be far from a party-line vote. The DLCers will vote with Bush while vulnerable Republicans join Democrats in blocking the deal. The 2006 implications will be decided by which members vote with the other party.

Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, an opponent, said that if a vote were held now on the Central American Free Trade Agreement, 195 Democrats and more than 60 Republicans would reject it, well more than enough to defeat the measure in the 435-member House.

“If CAFTA weren’t so wrong-headed and opposition to it so deep, Congress would have voted on the bill shortly after the president signed it” last May, Brown told a large anti-CAFTA gathering including farm-state lawmakers from both parties, Democrats with ties to organized labor, and groups representing agriculture, labor, religious, human rights and environmental interests.

So it looks like Democrats will lose around 10 votes, with 95% of the Party voting for workers. That means that around 150-170 Republicans could be entering the 2006 cycle with the baggage from this vote.

An issue like CAFTA has the potential to turn many a safe district into a competitive race.

I'll have more once we have a better idea of how this is breaking. It looks like great news for Democrats.

Posted at 12:12 PM in 2006 Elections - House | Technorati


For many working-class people who don't follow politics at all, NAFTA is the one economic issue that resonates with them. When you say it, they hear LOST JOBS.

I have no doubt CAFTA sounds 100% like more of the same to them.

The Democrats have lost countless working-class voters over the last decade. Their perception is that neither party really cares about them. For any Democrat who hopes to recapture those votes in 2006 or 2008, this is an absolutely critical issue.

Posted by: Steve M [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 21, 2005 12:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment