What: All Issues : Labor Rights : H.R. 2739. U.S.-Singapore Trade/Procedural Vote to Prevent Passage of a Free Trade Bill Between the U.S. and Singapore. (2003 house Roll Call 431)
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H.R. 2739. U.S.-Singapore Trade/Procedural Vote to Prevent Passage of a Free Trade Bill Between the U.S. and Singapore.
house Roll Call 431     Jul 24, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In a second effort to prevent final passage of a free trade bill between the U.S. and Singapore, Congressman Levin (D-MI) motioned to reconsider the previous vote (Roll Call Vote #430) and thereby allow opponents of the legislation another opportunity to defeat the measure. The previous vote involved the third and final reading of the free trade bill. According to House rules, legislation needs to be read three times before passage; the first reading occurs when the legislation is first introduced, the second reading occurs before House debate on the floor, and the third reading occurs at the conclusion of floor debate but before final passage of the legislation. Progressives opposed the U.S.-Singapore free trade bill for two main reasons. First, in their view, the trade bill would exacerbate the trade deficit in the United States and thereby cause Americans to lose their jobs (a trade "deficit" in this context means that the U.S. annually pays more money for imported products-those made in other countries-than it earns in exporting U.S.-made goods to those countries). Second, Progressives argued that free-trade agreements (such as the proposal at issue here) encourage environmental degradation by allowing corporations unfettered access to commodities that sometimes come from previously pristine natural environments under-protected by nations' environmental laws. On this vote, Representative Crane (R-IL) motioned to table (strike down) Levin's motion to prevent the third reading of the bill and thereby defeat the measure. Progressives voted against Crane's motion to table based on their opposition to the trade bill (and their support for Levin's motion) but the motion to table was upheld 269-153 and the trade bill was allowed to proceed to a final vote.

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