The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nearly stalled during its trip through the US Senate. However, a final surge of money to dissenting senators suddenly gave the TPP new life, reported The Guardian.
The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill is legislation designed to kill any debate over the trade deal. Essentially, politicians may not propose amendments and must give a straight yes-or-no vote on the TPP. Fast-tracking the TPP through the Senate was difficult until corporate backers of the trade deal began buying off senators.
The TPA ultimately passed the Senate by a 65-33 margin on May 14, and the Senate voted last week to close TPA debates altogether with a 62-38 margin.
Since January, corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP have donated over $1 million to US senators, an attempt to buy support for fast-tracking the TPP. According to the Federal Election Commission, an average of $17,676.48 went to each of the 65 “yea” votes. Collectively, that equals $1,148,971.
Republicans received considerably higher donations from TPP’s corporate backers than Democrats. On average, Republicans received $19,673.28, and Democrats received $9,689.23.
On May 12, two days before the fast-track vote, eight Democratic senators, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), were undecided about how to vote come May 14. Within one day, Wyden, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) were paid-off by corporate TPP backers and voted “yea.”
Each of those senators are running for reelection in 2016. It was later found that they each received at least $33,000 in campaign donations from TPP’s corporate backers.
Corporate backers of the TPP saw some dissent in the Senate, and they answered with money. This is further proof that the People are not in control of what happens in America; it’s the corporations.