Thursday, August 16, 2018
Politics

Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead, Schumer tells labor leaders

WASHINGTON — The Senate's soon-to-be-top Democrat told labor leaders Thursday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal at the center of President Barack Obama's "pivot" to strengthen ties with key Asian allies, will not be ratified by Congress.

That remark from Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who is expected to be the incoming Senate minority leader, came as good news to the AFL-CIO executive council, which met in Washington. An aide to Schumer confirmed the remarks.

Obama's signature global trade deal had been on life support for months as both Democrats and Republicans campaigned against unfair trade policies ahead of the Nov. 8 election. And Donald Trump's triumph in the presidential race cemented its fate.

"There is no way to fix the TPP," Trump said in a June economic address. "We need bilateral trade deals. We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down."

The deal never had much of a following among congressional Democrats to begin with. Only 28 of 188 House Democrats and 13 of 44 Senate Democrats supported granting Obama the authority to negotiate and finalize a deal last year. And Trump's rise has decimated support for free trade among Republicans. A former U.S. trade representative, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, said he would oppose the TPP as he campaigned for re-election this year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that there was no chance that the deal would pass during Obama's final months in office. And he said it is up to Trump whether any trade deal would move forward after that.

"I think the president-elect made it pretty clear he was not in favor of the current agreement," McConnell said. "But he has the latitude because (congressional negotiating authority) is in place through the next administration to negotiate better deals, as I think he would put it, if he chooses to."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has supported past trade deals, has said repeatedly that "the votes aren't there" in the House to pass the TPP in its current version and has said he had no plans to bring it to a vote in the House.

Comments
Veteran Hernando politicians take oversized contributions, run afoul of campaign finance laws

Veteran Hernando politicians take oversized contributions, run afoul of campaign finance laws

BROOKSVILLE — With primary Election Day at the doorstep, two Republican candidates vying for seats on the Hernando County Commission found themselves in uncomfortable spots over potential filings with the Florida Commission on Ethics.And a third Repu...
Published: 08/15/18
Q&A: A Watergate trickster talks dirty politics, then and now

Q&A: A Watergate trickster talks dirty politics, then and now

CLEARWATERNearly half a century ago, Martin Kelly made the mistake of his life.He was a senior at the University of Miami when he decided to take part in what would become one of the most infamous political scandals in U.S. history: Watergate. He was...
Published: 08/15/18

Pasco Political Notebook for Aug. 17

Republican Club hosts candidate forum at meetingThe West Pasco Republican Club will host an "Election Extravaganza" candidate forum at its meeting Aug. 21 at Heritage Springs Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. A social time will...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/15/18
Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting Pasco County begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 25, with 11 locations across the county for voters.Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 20-24, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug...
Published: 08/13/18
Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

LARGO — There will be no suspense in the city when elections arrive Nov. 6. In fact, there will be no election at all, because all four city commissioners whose seats were up were re-elected by default when no one came forward by the end of the candi...
Published: 08/13/18
Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

The political kerfuffle around Melissa Howard began when a news site reported that the Florida state House hopeful is not a college graduate, as she claims to be. To prove the story wrong, Howard, R, reportedly flew to her proclaimed alma mater, Ohio...
Published: 08/12/18
Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

The war is over, except no one in Tallahassee has bothered to read the news.And so Florida continues its daft fight against medical marijuana. All of which means patients are being left behind, voters are getting ignored, and lawyers are buying fanci...
Published: 08/11/18
Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

TAMPA — Hillsborough County plans to file a lawsuit next week against companies that manufacture opioid drugs, alleging that aggressive marketing of painkillers worsened the opioid crisis.The county joins a number of other local governments nationwid...
Published: 08/10/18
Ex-aide Omarosa says she refused hush money, pens White House memoir calling Trump racist

Ex-aide Omarosa says she refused hush money, pens White House memoir calling Trump racist

WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault Newman was offered a $15,000-a-month contract from President Donald Trump’s campaign to stay silent after being fired from her job as a White House aide by Chief of Staff John Kelly last December, according to a forthco...
Published: 08/10/18
Carlton: Sorry, Gov. Scott, but college students can early vote after all. Hey, USF, talking to you here...

Carlton: Sorry, Gov. Scott, but college students can early vote after all. Hey, USF, talking to you here...

Good news, at least for those of us who keep believing in that old-fashioned notion that voting should be open and accessible to everyone who’s qualified.Even if they’re, say, young voters. And even if certain politicians do not like the direction in...
Published: 08/10/18