Nancy Pelosi's Staff Hangs Up on Constituents Asking Her to Oppose TPP Fast Track
The House of Representatives is being subjected to the mother of all lobbying battles as corporate interests, the White House and the Republican leadership face off with conservative and progressive nonprofits and public interest groups over Trade Promotion Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track, would allow President Obama to submit the agreement in full to the Congress, which would have to vote either for or against without any ability to amend it. Fast Track has already passed the Senate, which is why the House is being lobbied so intensely. Enough Republicans have already peeled off from supporting the bill to where Fast Track needs somewhere between 20 and 30 House Democrats in order to pass.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has been mum about how she personally plans to vote, and is not whipping her members to oppose the deal. The White House is trying to get Pelosi to find the dozens of House Democrats it needs to pass Fast Track, and progressive organizations are having constituents call her to ask her to oppose it.
This morning, Credo Mobile directed thousands of calls to members of the House asking them to oppose the Fast Track bill. Some of those calls were directed to Pelosi (as of this writing almost 4,300 calls have been made to her office). Credo members have been reporting that Pelosi's staff are hanging up on them mid-call and redirecting them to voice mail.
Here are a few examples of report provided by Credo:
- “As soon as I started talking, the staff member dumped me into voicemail. Rudely.”
- “A real person answered the phone but switched me to voice mail before I could finish saying my name. I left the message but fear it will be deleted before being heard. Good luck."
- “The staff person rudely shifted me over to voice mail. Is that how Pelosi does everywhere and everyone who is not wealthy?”
- “Guy at WDC was short and snotty. Both offices directed me to a voice mail with no comment.”
- “Talked to a real person. When I stated the reason for my call, I was transferred to an answering machine.”
The behavior described above is unusual for Capitol Hill staff, who are directed to fully hear out the concerns of constituents. Pelosi's San Francisco office was the site of a Credo-led rally of hundreds of constituents earlier this week (photo provided by Credo):
TPP advocates are boosting their own pressure on Pelosi. This afternoon, Organizing for America, the nonprofit formed from the remnants of the Obama campaign, sent out an email to its list asking members to call Pelosi and ask for her support for Fast Track. The House is expected to take up the final Fast Track vote tomorrow.
Here's a screenshot: