Defying the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday the House will change its rules to avoid a required vote this year on a hotly disputed free-trade agreement with Colombia.
Pelosi said she will bring a procedural change to the House floor on Thursday that would remove the timetable under which Congress would have had to take up trade bills within 90 legislative days after they are received from the White House.
”The president took action” in submitting the Colombia free trade agreement to Congress on Tuesday, she said. ”I will take mine tomorrow.”
There are those who are not taking this kindly:
White House press secretary Dana Perino reacted sharply. ”Speaker Pelosi today did something unprecedented in the history of negotiating trade deals in announcing that Democrats would change the rules in the middle of the game,” Bush’s spokeswoman said.
Perino said removing the 90-day timetable sets an awful precedent ”for all future administrations, both Republicans and Democrats, because countries will not be able to have faith in our word when we’re negotiating trade deals.”
House Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement that Pelosi’s proposed rule change ”would be cheating.” He asked what nation ”would conclude a treaty with the United States knowing that Congress can change the rules of the game after it is negotiated?”
Waaah waaah waah. And those crybabies have been soooooooo straightforward in their dealings over the past seven years. To them it’s also absolutely, positively important that a country that, at best, looks the other way when death squads snuff union organizers thinks well of us.