Tempers were heated Wednesday when House Speaker Marco Rubio used another rules manuever to bring the contested Colombian free trade pact back to the House floor for a vote on the day that the country's visiting delegation was still in the Capitol.
Democrats said they deserved more time to vote on the hot potato issue. But Rubio had no sympathy.
By a vote of 83-27, with mostly Democrats opposing it, the House passed the resolution urging Congress to support the free trade agreement negotiated by President Bush.
While Rep. Juan Zapata, sponsor of the measure, urged the chamber not "to allow politics to play into this,'' the debate was nothing but politician posturing. A sample:
"This trade agreement violates the world trade agreement provisions...it will allow private foreign companies to sue states when we try to enforce minimum wage or clean air and clean water standards,'' said Rep. Scott Randolph, an Orlando Democrat.
Responded Zapata: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Colombia's neighbor, is "preaching Anti-Americanism'', he said. "You vote against this resolution, you're voting with Hugo Chavez.'' Republicans applauded.
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