Medicare Funding, or Job-(re)Training Funding
(move aside Granny)
Trade Deal Specifics: Move Jobs Off-shore, Cut Medicare for Retraining Funds
(Next in line: Step "Right" Up)
Updated (May 22, 2015): The Senate passed the controversial “fast-track” trade bill in a 62-37 vote today. It is a key part of President Obama's pivot to Asia, which aims to counter China's rising economic and diplomatic power via the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
That bill now heads to the House for a vote expected early in June, where it is expected to face a tougher showdown. If it is passed by the House, the fast-track bill will give Mr. Obama the power to negotiate trade pacts with other countries and submit them to Congress without lawmakers being able to introduce amendments to them (that is what “fast track” means).
Some House Democrats have expressed worry about the bill's impact on jobs and the environment. Some conservatives oppose giving the White House more power.
But, in order to win over the support of enough Democrats to pass that “fast-track” provision of the TPP, Senate Republicans added about $700 million for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which provides training funds for workers whose jobs are outsourced because of the TPP and jobs moving off-shore.
Wow that that sounds great: help will be provided to those who will lose their jobs to overseas under the trade agreement. However, as the late great Paul Harvey would say – “Now, the rest of the story” and I add: “How to pay for that needed job (re)training?”
Simple GOP solution (as usual): Get it by cutting the $700 million from Medicare. One huge WTF moment for sure.
Then to add misery to that company is this floating around the House: In addition to the $700 million in Medicare cuts, offsets for the roughly $2.8 billion cost of the TAA program include customs user fees and cuts to the child tax credit for certain taxpayers.
We can this another round of attacks on hard-working American families and those in need – which apparently continues to be a long-term GOP goal and aim (i.e., reduce those nasty “social” programs anyway possible).
But, stay tuned – it ain’t over till it’s over as Yogi Berra would say.