As Friday’s vote for expanded trade authorities by the president nears, the White House took an aggressive stance toward members of Congress who signaled opposition to Obama’s plan.
“What the president has said is that members of Congress should be more concerned about the jobs of Americans than their own jobs,” spokesman Josh Earnest replied, asserting that passing trade authorities would “help” middle class families.
House Speaker John Boehner included trade adjustment assistance for workers who lose their jobs via free trade agreements as part of the trade vote package, but would pay for it with Medicare savings.
But Earnest warned members of Congress that if they opposed the deal during the week, they would have to say good-bye to worker assistance as it will expire at the end of the year.
“If you are a member of congress, and you vote against trade adjustment this week you are adding your name to the death certificate of trade adjustment assistance because it will go away,” Earnest said.
Earnest referred to the “reasonableness, frankly, of Speaker Boehner in this instance” to address many Democratic concerns with the bill – giving both Democrats and Republicans a reason to vote for the legislation.
“There a lot of reasons for Democrats and Republicans to support trade adjustment assistance when it’s on the floor at the end of the week,” he insisted.