We are in crunch time to stop Congress from granting Fast Track to the President which would mean that he could sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement before Congress sees it and would prevent transparency and a democratic review of the TPP in Congress.
The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to negotiate trade. If Congress gives this responsibility up, then we will not know what is in the text of the TPP and will not have hearings or debate on it.
It is likely that Congress will vote on Fast Track in both the House and Senate in late September. Members of Congress are in their home districts now until September 8.
We must move quickly to tell Congress to say “No!” to Fast Track and to demand transparency and a democratic process for the largest and most wide-reaching trade agreement in history.
Here is a fun action that will take place across the nation on September 17: Constitution Day.
1. Ask your member of Congress to make a commitment to vote “No” on Fast Track by September 10 (The day they return to Washington from their home districts). You can call your member’s district office, bring them a letter requesting a commitment or schedule a meeting with them or their staff member. Use House.gov or Senate.gov to find contact information for your member. Use this sample letter and personalize it.
2. Contact a few friends or local organizations to hold a ‘Thank and Spank’ on Constitution Day, September 17. Will your member uphold their constitutional responsibility to oversee commerce and trade or surrender it to the Executive Branch?
- If your member promises to vote “No” on Fast Track, then thank them publicly (this must be a solid promise, remember that politicians are clever). Make it fun. Invite their staff to celebrate with you. Send out a press release or write letters to the editor in your local paper to let everyone know that your representative is standing with the people. See the toolkit for help with this.
- If your member waffles, won’t commit or supports Fast Track , then ‘spank’ them publicly for siding with the corporations. Here is a list of the corporations that support the TPP. And you can find out which corporations are controlling your member of Congress through the Sunlight Foundation. Use the search function in the Influence Explorer section. Be creative in your actions. Make them highly visible to have an effect.
- Then share your photos, videos and write-ups with your local media and with FlushTheTPP.org. Remember to be the media too and share on local blogs and social media outlets.