June 5, 2015

Joaquin Castro Caught Between Twin Brother & Unions On Trade

Joaquin Castro is in a pickle.

As the Texas Tribune notes, Castro, along with other House Democrats “face an agonizing choice: oppose the measure and deep-six Obama’s economic legacy, or support it and antagonize labor, one of the largest financial constituents in the party.”

Castro is in a trickier position than most. His brother Julian, who desperately wants to be Hillary Clinton’s VP pick, is Obama’s HUD secretary. The brothers chat “multiple times a day,” according to the Tribune:

Obama has a unique negotiating weapon in his arsenal: Castro’s twin brother, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

There is no discernible evidence that the Castros have discussed trade, but it’s widely known on Capitol Hill that the two speak multiple times a day.

But labor is pushing Joaquin Castro hard from the other side. The implicit threat is that crossing labor on an issue this important could complicate his accelerating rise in House leadership or any national ambitions (although his brother’s name comes up more often on that front).

That puts Castro between a rock and a hard place, but he can’t stay silent forever.