AFL-CIO halts PAC contributions, gears up for battle to stop fast track

AFLCIOUpping the ante in its campaign to stop trade agreements that give corporations more power over the global economy, the AFL-CIO announced today it would freeze all contributions to federal lawmakers’ Political Action Committees and focus, instead, on a ground battle against fast track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The nation’s largest labor federation announced the freeze, which also applies to its affiliate unions, in a news release today:

The AFL-CIO … and its affiliated unions are freezing all Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates until further notice in order to conserve resources for the historic legislative battle around fast track (trade promotion authority) and the debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The Council established the defeat of Fast Track as a top federation priority and passed a statement outlining its commitment to fight any trade agreement that fails to prioritize the needs of working families and advance shared prosperity in the global economy.

The AFL-CIO and its affiliates spent $617,771 on PAC contributions in the 2014 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org, the Center for Responsive Politics’ website. Most of the federation’s contributions went to Democrats.

The battle over fast track, which would force members to take an up-or-down vote on 1trade agreements without offering amendments, puts the AFL-CIO in the unusual position of opposing the Obama administration.

Looking for common ground with Republicans who took over Congress this year, the White House has moved fast track and the TPP to the top of its agenda. The AFL-CIO’s PAC announcement puts Democratic members of Congress on notice that labor is unwilling to compromise when it comes to supporting a new vision for trade.

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