And now, it begins: the so-called Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, introduced by Rep. Camp (R-MI) and Sen. Baucus (D?-MT), would give the President "fast-track" authority to ram a "free" trade bill through Congress and, by extension, down the throats of the American people. If it has the word "bipartisan" in it it's almost certainly a pile of dung, but don't take my word for it: read the press release at the Senate Finance Committee's website, if you have the stomach. "Boosting U.S. exports" blah blah blah "creating jobs" blah blah blah "a robust trade agenda" blah blah blah "the challenges of today’s competitive global economy" retch. You'd never know this was really all about ramming through a "free" trade agreement that would subjugate our laws to investor-state tribunals, or about shutting down internet sites corporations don't like. Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to vote against fast-tracking "free" trade deals.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the Senate to pass a damn long-term unemployment extension bill already, the Coalition on Human Needs helps you do that. Word on the street is that some of the handful of Republicans who graciously allowed debate to start on this bill want the three-month extension "paid for." And no, it can't be paid for by asking the rich to contribute a few tenths of a percentage point more in income taxes, or by closing corporate tax loopholes, but by (sigh) more spending cuts, because that's proven so immensely persuasive with the American people over the last few years. Meanwhile, at least two proposed amendments would "pay for" the bill by denying the Child Tax Credit to children from immigrant families. CHN estimates that 5.5 million low-income children would suffer as a result, and that number includes 4 million children who are already U.S. citizens. Why we have to be cruel to children in order to pay for not being cruel to adults is beyond me.