Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


The House of Representatives passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) Wednesday night.

The final vote was 217-215 with 202 Republicans voting for it and 187 Democrats and one independent voting against it. While House rules stipulate that roll call votes are only to be open for 15 minutes, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay held the vote open for over an hour in order to twist enough arms and offer up enough pork barrel spending to members for the trade agreement to pass.

The bill relaxes tariffs between the US, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Critics have cited the negative impact it will have on American jobs, family farms, and environmental protections as reasons to oppose it.

The Wisconsin delegation split along party lines with Republicans Jim Sensenbrenner, Mark Green, Paul Ryan, and Tom Petri favoring CAFTA, and Democrats Dave Obey, Gwen Moore, Ron Kind, and Tammy Baldwin opposing it.


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