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house Bill H.R. 2146

Should Congress Approve the 'Fast-Track' for Free Trade Agreements (Like TPP)?

Argument in favor

There is bipartisan agreement that this bill will open markets for U.S. exports, give the U.S. more access to imports, and save average consumers money. Congress would still have a chance to weigh in, and ultimately approve or deny any trade agreements.

ThomasParker's Opinion
···
06/19/2015
As long as the bill is not private and it is a move towards free trade, we should support it. However, if a bill is kept in secret and imposes tariffs or confers privileges to certain industries, it must be opposed.
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James's Opinion
···
06/19/2015
We live in a global economy. It's very likely without this you will have the U.S. Limited in its ability to engage in the already global and changing economy and the implications for our global trading partners could be disastrous
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SherryTX's Opinion
···
05/13/2015
These careers are more demanding than most and often times they are no longer physically able to continue work. I would much rather see an early retirement than a disability claim. This option should be available for all careers that are age selective in the ability to do the work.
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Argument opposed

This bill doesn't protect American workers who could lose their jobs because of the increased competition from "fast-tracked" trade agreements. It also gives too much negotiating power to the President and corporations — not the American people.

Dirtrhino's Opinion
···
05/13/2015
So we can bail them out when they're broke in retirement? I don't think so. These folks have inherently dangerous jobs and could be permanently disabled at anytime. They may need the money in their retirement savings, and this bill would allow them to run that down
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Berthold's Opinion
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06/19/2015
Too secret, a power grab , a typical example of how the population gets manipulated into ignorance and complacency. A giveaway to China and other Asian nations and and basically a contract to further diminish control on big corporat players.
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ChrisGarguilo's Opinion
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06/19/2015
This is a blatant attempt at even more corporate takeover of our government. This bill does not benefit Americans, only corporations.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedJune 29th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed June 4th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed June 18th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 218 Yea / 208 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedApril 30th, 2015

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Bill Details

Official information provided by the Congressional Research Service. Learn more or make a suggestion.
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Title

Defending Public Safety Employees' Retirement Act

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, and air traffic controllers to make penalty-free withdrawals from governmental plans after age 50, and for other purposes.

Summary

Defending Public Safety Employees' Retirement Act (Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the exemption from the 10% penalty tax on early distributions from a government retirement plan for qualified public safety employees who have reached age 50, to expand the exemption to include specified federal law enforcement officers, customs and border protection officers, federal firefighters, and air traffic controllers who similarly have reached age 50. The bill also eliminates the restriction that only distributions from governmental plans that are defined benefit plans qualify for the exemption, thus allowing an exemption of distributions from defined contribution plans and other types of governmental plans. Additionally, early distributions are not treated as a modification of substantially equal payments for purposes of determining an increase in the penalty tax. The amendments made by this bill apply to distributions made after December 31, 2015. (Sec. 3) The budgetary effects of this Act shall not be entered on either PAYGO scorecard maintained under the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010. TITLE I--TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (Sec. 102) Declares the overall trade negotiating objectives of the United States with respect to any agreement with a foreign country to reduce or eliminate existing tariffs or nontariff barriers of that country or the United States that are unduly burdening and restricting U.S. trade. Includes among such objectives: more open, equitable, and reciprocal market access; the reduction or elimination of trade barriers and distortions that are directly related to trade and investment and that decrease market opportunities for U.S. exports or otherwise distort U.S. trade; stronger international trade and investment disciplines and procedures, including dispute settlement; enhanced U.S. competitiveness; protection of the environment; respect for worker and children rights consistent with International Labor Organization core labor standards; equal access of small businesses to international markets; and religious freedom. Declares the principal trade negotiating objectives of the United States with respect to: goods and services; agriculture; foreign investment; intellectual property; digital goods and services, as well as cross-border data flows; regulatory practices; state-owned and state-controlled enterprises; localization barriers to trade; labor and the environment; currency and foreign currency manipulation; the World Trade Organization (WTO) and multilateral trade agreements; trade institution transparency; anti-corruption; dispute settlement and enforcement; trade remedy laws; border taxes; textile negotiations; commercial partnerships, especially with Israel; and good governance, transparency, operation of legal regimes, and the rule of law of U.S. trading partners. Directs the President, in order to maintain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy, to engage in specified capacity building activities with respect to foreign countries that seek to enter into trade agreements with the United States. (Sec. 103) Authorizes the President to enter into trade agreements with foreign countries for the reduction or elimination of tariff or nontariff barriers before July 1, 2018, or before July 1, 2021, if trade authorities procedures are extended to implementing bills (congressional approval) with respect to such agreements. Authorizes the President to proclaim necessary or appropriate modifications or continuation of any existing duty, continuation of existing duty-free or excise treatment, or additional duties to carry out any such agreement. (Sec. 104) Subjects trade agreements to congressional oversight and approval, consultations, and access to information requirements. Requires the convening each Congress of the House and the Senate Advisory Groups on Negotiations to consult with and advise the United States Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the formulation of specific objectives, negotiating strategies and positions, the development of the applicable trade agreement, and compliance and enforcement of the negotiated commitments under the trade agreement. Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to establish within the Office of the USTR the position of Chief Transparency Officer to consult with Congress on transparency policy, coordinate transparency in trade negotiations, engage and assist the public, and advise the USTR on transparency policy. (Sec. 105) Specifies presidential notifications, consultations, reports, and other actions and their deadlines that must take place for any trade agreement to enter into force. Specifies requirements for negotiations regarding agriculture, the fishing industry, and textiles. (Sec. 106) Prescribes procedures for resolutions of disapproval in the House and the Senate before the President enters into any trade agreement. Declares that trade authorities procedures shall not apply to any implementing bill submitted with respect to a trade agreement: if both chambers of Congress agree by a certain deadline to a procedural disapproval resolution for lack of notice or consultations, and with a country which does not fully comply and is not making significant efforts to comply with minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking ("tier 3" country). (Sec. 107) Prescribes requirements for the treatment of trade agreements entered into under the auspices of the WTO or with the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries or the European Union which result from negotiations commenced before enactment of this Act. (Sec. 108) Declares that any provision of a trade agreement that is inconsistent with any U.S. laws shall be null and void. (Sec. 109) Expresses the sense of Congress that the USTR should facilitate participation of small businesses in the trade negotiation process.
    As long as the bill is not private and it is a move towards free trade, we should support it. However, if a bill is kept in secret and imposes tariffs or confers privileges to certain industries, it must be opposed.
    Like (7)
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    So we can bail them out when they're broke in retirement? I don't think so. These folks have inherently dangerous jobs and could be permanently disabled at anytime. They may need the money in their retirement savings, and this bill would allow them to run that down
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Too secret, a power grab , a typical example of how the population gets manipulated into ignorance and complacency. A giveaway to China and other Asian nations and and basically a contract to further diminish control on big corporat players.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a blatant attempt at even more corporate takeover of our government. This bill does not benefit Americans, only corporations.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    We live in a global economy. It's very likely without this you will have the U.S. Limited in its ability to engage in the already global and changing economy and the implications for our global trading partners could be disastrous
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Once you open the gate for special treatment it is very hard to close them. We should have learned this lesson for laws for disabled, guys, etc.
    Like (3)
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    Should be practice for all, not just law enforcement.
    Like (2)
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    These careers are more demanding than most and often times they are no longer physically able to continue work. I would much rather see an early retirement than a disability claim. This option should be available for all careers that are age selective in the ability to do the work.
    Like (2)
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    This bill reeks of Lo Mein and Fried Rice.
    Like (1)
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    There's been more than enough "pass it without reading it" legislation. Treaties that can't be modified would only encourage that.
    Like (1)
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    These Nations Must First Pass/Implement/Enforce Labor Rights And Human Rights Before Any Trade With United States Can Begin.
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    We don't need this
    Like (1)
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    It's already their money. If they need it give it to them.
    Like (1)
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    Everyone is informed of the penalties. This is unfair to other people, we must promote rule of law and not single out groups of people.
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    This bill doesn't protect American workers who could lose their jobs because of the increased competition from "fast-tracked" trade agreements. It also gives too much negotiating power to the President and corporations — not the American people.
    Like (1)
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    Rep. Reichert explicitly comments that these employees may be eligible to retire earlier, whether owing to the hazardous nature of their work, or talents of service, or both. If that's the case, the bill's language should have made this eligibility the key to accessing their benefits earlier than normal.
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    It is their money, they should have access to it. Plus, many have mandatory requirements to retire at 57.
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    This bill was the last straw in any legitimacy of John crybaby Boehner as a Republican leader. Any concession to a rogue President that marginalizes Congress throws the Founding Fathers' idea of checks and balances into a cocked hat.
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    I voted yea because my farther was a firefighter
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    How many more American jobs do you intend to kill with this NWO stuff?
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