TPP strongly divides Democrats at Orlando meeting

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During spirited debate, Democrats meeting in Orlando adopted a weaker version of a party platform amendment Saturday that would have opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • Democrats meeting in Orlando to hammer out party platform
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership has divided Clinton, Sanders backers
  • Sanders backers think platform should firmly oppose TPP

The TPP, an international trade agreement among 12 countries, has divided Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters within the Democratic Party. Both presidential candidates oppose the trade deal, but Sanders backers wanted strong language included in the party platform opposing the trade deal. They’re concerned about the outsourcing of many jobs.

But Clinton backers, wary of opposing the Obama administration, prevailed during the second day of the party platform meeting, taking place at the DoubleTree hotel on Kirkman Road. The amendment that passed Saturday doesn’t firmly condemn the TPP but underscores the concern over workers’ rights.

Supporters of the amendment said it was progress.

“I think it’s a huge victory for the party," Rhode Island Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea said. "In all policy discussions, people have different view points, but in the end, we approved an amendment that really is a victory for everyone," she said.

The Obama administration says the TPP will enhance economic growth and job retention.

Another hot button issue at the two-day meeting has been immigration reform.

The Young American Dreamers group marched again Saturday holding a rally outside the hotel hoping to garner the attention of the party and its two presidential candidates.

The group wants to take their immigration reform policy up to a vote and discuss what they hope will change during the next presidency sometime during the meeting.

“President Obama had promised immigration reform during his candidacy but was unable to pass it because of Congress," Young American Dreamers organizer Daniel Barajas said. "He was unable to pass an executive order that would have protected five million families and was unable to put a new Supreme Court justice in the Supreme Ccourt.

"So if he wasn’t able to do all that, what will either candidate, if elected, be able to do if they go into office?” Barajas said.

Ben Crump, the lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s family, spoke out for an amendment on criminal justice that passed unanimously.

“When you think of what’s going on in Louisiana and Minnesota, we just have to stop this and what happened in Dallas, it’s a terrible, sad week in America,” said Crump.

Democrats will take the adopted party platform to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Bay News 9 – local-news

July 10, 2016 |

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