Usually, when Max Baucus tries to craft a grand bargain, oversized legislation starts by getting progressively worse, at which point the legislation finally dies.
But he has finally succeeded in getting a grand bargain, with a deal to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance in exchange for votes on the Korea, Colombia, and Panama trade deals.
Baucus said he had secured an agreement with the White House and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to renew the expanded version of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The program, which funds job-training programs and healthcare benefits for workers hurt by trade, will be extended until the end of 2013.
If that doesn’t already make you vomit, then consider the way the Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue is preening over this agreement.
“For members of Congress who care about American jobs, this is a moment of truth,” said Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “I urge members of both parties to seize a reasonable compromise and move the trade agenda forward. The time to act is now.”
As if the Chamber gives a hoot about jobs–aside from the ones they can move to countries where labor organization is met with murder.