It's not accurate. The Fast Track authority the administration seeks would effectively permit Congress to abrogate it's responsibility in this matter. If granted Fast Track, the procedure becomes as outlined below (see wikipedia page on fast track) . As you can see it's only needs a simple majority and amputates discussion severly along with preventing anyone from filibustering it since if time expires without a vote, it passes automatically.
This is what Obama wants and his college crony Michael Froman want to do to us. Michael Froman is a piece of work. He had "some trouble" being confirmed as USTR because he at the time he was nominated he was hiding somewhere above 500,000 in a Cayman Islands tax haven . People who know him say that he's extremely cold and sarcastic and just basically your typical inside the beltway psychopath "player".
According to a 2011 financial document, Mr. Froman held $490,845 in a fund managed by Citigroup and based in Grand Cayman's Ugland House, a modest whitewashed building that has been widely cited as a symbol of tax avoidance since it is home to nearly 19,000 business entities seeking favorable tax treatment.
In answers to Finance Committee questions, Mr. Froman said on May 17 that he still held those assets but would sell them off within 90 days of confirmation as trade representative.
Mr. Grassley said the president once called the Ugland House "the biggest tax scam in the world."
âoeYet he nominated two top advisers in a row who invested in the Ugland House,â Mr. Grassley said. âoeHe also nominated a commerce secretary with significant offshore income.â
You can rest assured if he can get this through he'll spend the rest of his days be richly rewarded by the corporations whom he's helping to bring establish a draconian IP regime , including things like "patents software as such" and "patenting mathematics as such"
From the leaked agreement:
[MX propose: (d) and the diagrams, plans, rules and methods for carrying out mental processes, playing games or doing business, and mathematical methods as such; software as such; methods to present information as such; and aesthetic creations and artistic or literary works.]
So in short, the US appears to be proposing that all of these things should be explicitly patentable - overriding New Zealand's recent Patents Act and similar laws being discussed around the world. Everyone else is saying they could be excluded. ...the US also appears to be pushing for the forced patentability of mathematical methods, methods of presenting information and even literary works...
In early 2012, the Obama administration indicated that renewal of the authority is a requirement for the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which have been undertaken as if the authority were still in effect. In July 2013, Michael Froman, the newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative, renewed efforts to obtain Congressional reinstatement of "fast track" authority. At nearly the same time, Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned Froman about the prospect of a secretly-negotiated, binding international agreement such as TPP that might turn out to supersede U.S. wage, safety, and environmental laws. Other legislators expressed concerns about foreign currency manipulation, food safety laws, state-owned businesses, market access for small businesses, access to pharmaceutical products, and online commerce.
If the President transmits a fast track trade agreement to Congress, then the majority leaders of the House and Senate or their designees must introduce the implementing bill submitted by the President on the first day on which their House is in session. (19 U.S.C. Â 2191(c)(1).) Senators and Representatives may not amend the Presidentâ(TM)s bill, either in committee or in the Senate or House. (19 U.S.C. Â 2191(d).) The committees to which the bill has been referred have 45 days after its introduction to report the bill, or be automatically discharged, and each House must vote within 15 days after the bill is reported or discharged. (19 U.S.C. Â 2191(e)(1).)
In the likely case that the bill is a revenue bill (as tariffs are revenues), the bill must originate in the House (see U.S. Const., art I, sec. 7), and after the Senate received the House-passed bill, the Finance Committee would have another 15 days to report the bill or be discharged, and then the Senate would have another 15 days to pass the bill. (19 U.S.C. Â 2191(e)(2).) On the House and Senate floors, each Body can debate the bill for no more than 20 hours, and thus Senators cannot filibuster the bill and it will pass with a simple majority vote. (19 U.S.C. Â 2191(f)-(g).) Thus the entire Congressional consideration could take no longer than 90 days.
The most recent full leak of the "Intellectual Property" chapter came in February of 2011, and contained troubling provisions that wouldâ"among other thingsâ"formalize the U.S. ban on circumventing Digital Rights Management (DRM) software in more countries around the world, and extend copyright restrictions to so-called "temporary copies," interfering with basic functions of computers and the Internet.
Moreover, the letter explains that TPP as written could crystallize components of U.S. law that are far from fully settled domestically. Beyond the anti-circumvention provisions mentioned above, the leaked draft also contains restrictions on importation that were rejected by the Supreme Court this year in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng, which affirmed owners' first-sale rights to lend or resell products and works manufactured abroad.
Agreements such as the TPP require transparency and input from all affected stakeholders, and a fastâtrack process would not permit Congress to provide that essential feedback. The stakes for user's rights are too high, and the process has been too secretive, to allow the administration to enact an agreement without meaningful Congressional oversight.
In pushing for fast-track authority, the Obama administration has sought to strip another layer of transparency and accountability out of the trade agreement process. Congress, as elected representatives of the public, must work to bring that transparency back.