Slow fast track Old, stale and failed ideas don't ever seem to go away in Congress. Case in point: a bill introduced this month by U.S. Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; and Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., to “fast track” any trade deal in the next five years, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement — the biggest trade deal in the history of U.S. trade deals. What makes fast track a bad idea? Simply put: it's anti- democratic and bad for America. It's a free pass for bad trade deals that are negotiated in secret and not made public until they're final, when it's too late to make them better. Fast track limits our ability to fight for a trade policy that benefits working people. Fast track has been used in the past to get swift approval on trade agreements, like NAFTA, that have killed jobs and given corporations more control over our lives.
And we've seen the devastating effects these bad trade deals have left in their wake: closed factories and businesses across the country, a race to the bottom on wages and workers' rights, and a global trade deficit in the hundreds of billions. Working people in the United States and around the world already are pushing back to stop the Baucus-Hatch-Camp “fast track” bill and we need you, Robert, if we're going to defeat it. Take the first step to stop fast track dead in its tracks. Sign the petition now at http://go.aflcio.org/no-fast-track. Mike Williams Tallahassee The writer is president of the Florida AFL-CIO. Dead end Marty Moore's column defending Department of Veterans Affairs health care was something I wanted to see. It is a national disgrace how we treat those who serve and defend our country. In responding to the criticism of VA care in the column by Pete Hegseth of Concerned Veterans of America, however, Moore assumed because Hegseth is conservative his was a back-door attack on the disaster known as Obamacare. Going down the two-party system of blame will not win Moore any readers. Robert Jonatzke Holiday