A Lame-Duck Session Will Be So Liberating

By September 19, 2008Labor Unions, Trade

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Colombia President Alvaro Uribe said on Friday that he hoped U.S. lawmakers would quickly approve a bilateral free-trade agreement signed two years ago and stalled in Congress for months.

‘We are hopeful that we can at any moment have the approval of the U.S. Congress of the Colombia free-trade agreement,’ Uribe said in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

Uribe acknowledged, in response to a question, that he talked by telephone on Thursday with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who has been opposed to the Colombia pact.

‘It was a constructive telephone conversation,’ Uribe said, adding he needed to be prudent in answering whether Obama indicated he would be open to a vote on the pact this year.

‘I know how difficult it is to talk about politics in times of hot politics,’ Uribe said.

Congress’ handling of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, in particular the House leadership’s abandonment of ordered debate and voting, has been a low moment in congressional history, but a high point for the exercise of brute political force by organized labor. Let’s hope the equation balances out some in a post-election session.

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