Last week, the Senate voted 62-38 in favor of a bill called the Trade Promotion Authority to fast-track getting the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership passed through Congress. Butjust how much did it cost to get it?

The TPA grants President Obama the authority to fast-track the passing of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The TPP is the largest free trade agreement in history and has been an issue of contention among members of the Democratic Party and American labor unions for years. Obama, siding with the GOP on trade, wants to see the deal go through before his term is up. Now that the TPP is on the fast-track, that could very well be possible. 

The problem is, the TPA basically takes away Congress’s ability to amend and make changes to the terms of the TPP agreement. This essentially takes away Congress's ability to debate on the issue. All it can do is vote yes or no. 

By this point, I don’t even need to ask you why anyone would want to take those powers from Congress, because you already know the answer: Money. 

If you remember our article about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), you know that the deal is robbing people of democracy in the name of big business. The same is true of the TPP. Thanks to the Guardian, we can follow the money trail that got this deal on the fast-track to begin with.

According to the Guardian, this chart from the Federal Election Commission, shows all donations corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate. Here are some of the most important numbers to note:

  • Outof the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated toeach of the 65 “yea” votes.
  • Theaverage Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPPsupporters.
  • Theaverage Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors.
  • Almost100% of the Republicans in the US Senate voted for fast-track – the onlytwo non-votes on TPA were a Republican from Louisiana and a Republicanfrom Alaska.

Are you surprised by any of this? Our politicians are paid to do what's good for corporations, not what's good for the people. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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