[Why Paul Ryan was Barack Obama’s biggest ally in the trade debacle]
But Friday was a bad day for Obama and one of celebration for those who oppose his trade agenda.
Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers following the House vote:
Unions: The AFL-CIO heavily lobbied lawmakers to oppose the trade bill, including sending thousands of workers to Washington to rally and pressure lawmakers, organizing more than 650 events and conducting massive phone call and letter-writing campaigns. In recent weeks, the union unveiled ads criticizing Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) for backing TPA.
Earlier this week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka met with House Democrats to make his case for why they should vote against the legislation soon after administration officials addressed the same group.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to oppose the trade package on Friday was a key moment in the debate, a point AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made sure to note following the vote.
.@nancypelosi is a champion for workers & I applaud her opposition to bad trade deals. Look forward to working w/ her on good trade bills.— Richard Trumka (@RichardTrumka) June 12, 2015
Rep. Rosa Delauro: The Connecticut Democrat led the opposition to the trade legislation in the House, working with a coalition of labor unions, environmental groups and progressive Democrats to pressure individual Democrats to oppose giving the president fast track trade powers.
The key to their efforts was convincing Democrats to vote against a program they support, providing financial assistance to displaced workers, because under a complicated parliamentary procedure devised by Republican leaders its passage would have cleared the way for the House to approve the fast track trade authority sought by the president.
Stop Fast Track: The coalition of 60 groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, the Sierra Club, Ben & Jerry’s, Internet humor site Cheezburger and consumer advocacy group Public Citizen banded together in opposition of fast track. After the vote Friday, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune released a statement saying:”This is a major victory for everyone who thinks trade should be fair and responsible. The era of free trade deals that harm workers and the environment is coming to a close. Now, we must bury fast track and trade deals that threaten our air, water and climate, once and for all, and start fresh to build a new model of trade.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): The Democratic presidential candidate was a leading opponent of fast track, and this week criticized Hillary Clinton for not taking a stance on the issue.
President Obama: The president made last-minute pleas to lawmakers support the bill, stopping by the Congressional baseball game Thursday evening and rushing to Capitol Hill on Friday morning to reach out personally to House Democrats. The bill would have paved the way for Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Asian nations without amendments from Congress, and the president has said he hoped TPP would be a key part of his administration’s legacy.
Silicon Valley: On Thursday, 27 executives from tech giants including AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, eBay, Cisco, Intel and Xerox made a last-minute call on Congress to give the president expanded authority on trade. They support TPP because it aims to strengthen patents for technology companies and safeguard the free flow of data across borders for Internet and software firms.
Trade Benefits America: Since February, the coalition of 280 businesses and trade associations run through the Business Roundtable spent $2 million in cable and radio advertising and placed 170 opinion pieces in national and local news outlets to support fast track.
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