The Buzz

TheChat: Pat Roberts doesn’t close door to support of new trade pact


Good morning.

▪ “While increased market access for industries like beef and wheat will be essential, I want to ensure that this deal is the best deal possible for all of our farmers and ranchers.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, chair of the Senate Ag Committee, on the new Pacific Rim trade agreement.

Roberts, a Republican and a long-time advocate of free trade, signaled he’s open to possible support of the deal

▪ “Everything we know about the agreement suggests it will be yet another disaster for hard-working American families.” — Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat, on the new trade pact.

DeLauro said the TPP will force American workers to compete with cheap labor in countries like Vietnam, where unions are banned and the minimum wage is 56 cents an hour. Another concern, he said: The deal would raise drug prices, and it fails to protect consumers from unsafe seafood.

▪ “If Congressman McCarthy is selected as speaker and leaves his majority leader post, there is no question in my mind that he will have to go much further to the right than did his friend John Boenher, or he won’t last long.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver on the race for the next House speaker.

Cleaver, a Democrat, sounds genuinely concerned about the direction of the House under its new leadership. (link via

▪ “We're gonna build a bigger grass-roots organization this time, and frankly the message of an outside businessperson as governor, as CEO ... this is a compelling story.” — Republican John Brunner talking about how his 2016 campaign for governor will differ from his 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate.

Brunner is pushing the “outsider” image in an election cycle that’s rewarding outsiders. The lack of an effective grass-roots organization cost Brunner in his 2012 primary loss to Todd Akin.