When Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, gathers with union leaders from Colombia and the United States later this morning on Capitol Hill to slam the proposed free trade deal between the two nations, it will be a protest without much suspense.

That's because Democratic congressional leaders already have pretty much put the trade pact on legislative ice for the year, ignoring pleas from President Bush and Colombian officials to pass a deal proponents say will reward a blooming Latin American democracy and boost American exports.

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