Bush to Give Congress Colombia Bill

But Dems will likely kill trade pact over human rights
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2008 7:51 PM CDT
President Bush arrives to make remarks on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Monday, April 7, 2008, in Washington.    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – President Bush said today he is handing Congress a much-disputed Colombia free trade pact, the Washington Post reports. But with both Democratic presidential candidates and many lawmakers opposing it, the bill has little chance of passing. Democrats have long blasted Colombia for failing to protect labor advocates and curb violence. "Workers are routinely murdered for seeking to exercise their most basic economic rights," Sen. Harry Reid said.

But Bush says the pact will boost the US economy and aid national security. It will also act as leverage against the "hostile and anti-American regime in Venezuela," where President Hugo Chavez backs the FARC leftist militia. Bush's plan to send the pact to Congress comes only one day after Hillary Clinton's top adviser quit for his role in promoting it.