Two members of House GOP leadership—Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions(R-TX)—refused to admit through spokespersons to Breitbart News whether they have read the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Pacific Rim trade deal, but they still support granting President Barack Obama the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to fast track it. What’s more, Scalise and Sessions—and others GOP conference-wide, including even perhaps Boehner—could be vulnerable to serious primary challenges if they continue forward with Obamatrade.
Jill Shatzen, a spokeswoman for Sessions, said in an email:
“Chairman Sessions has been a strong proponent of TPA in order to ensure the Congress has a major role in overseeing trade deals and ensuring they are representative of what the American people want.Because negotiations on TPP are not complete, the full agreement is not yet available for review by members. However, when it is complete, TPA ensures that all members and the public have 60 days to review the final agreement before Congress acts. The Chairman looks forward to reviewing the final agreement at that time.”
That was in response to Breitbart News asking if Sessions had been to the secret room inside the Capitol to read the text of TPP, and if he’d support TPA without reading TPP. The argument Sessions’ office is making—one that’s been echoed by others in leadership, like Scalise’s team and by chief Obamatrade proponent House Ways and Means Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is that TPA is separate from TPP. While they’re technically correct in asserting that TPA is different from the specific TPP, there is essentially no way to stop a trade deal once it has been fast-tracked. Since fast track was created in the Richard Nixon administration, not one trade deal that started on fast track has been thwarted. As such, a vote for TPA is a vote for TPP, since passing TPA will all but guarantee the successful passage of TPP.
Scalise’s office, through a spokesman, also refused to answer the same questions about whether he went to the room in the Capitol to read the TPP text. A Scalise spokesman said:
“I want to make sure we’re clear that TPA and TPP are two separate things. What the House is working to pass is the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA), the text of which is readily available. The Trade Priorities and Accountability Act mandates that any negotiated trade deal—such as TPP—must be made public for 60 days before it’s brought to a vote, and it gives either chamber of Congress a shut-off switch to stop any deal that does not meet the preconditions set by Congress. As another example of its unprecedented transparency and accountability, TPA puts into law the requirement that any Member of Congress has the legal right to review all of the text at any time during the negotiations. That is not the case today, and never has been. TPA will also give members the right to be credentialed to participate in and monitor the actual trade negotiations.”
Scalise’s office also echoed Ryan’s comments on Fox News, where he argued—in seeming response to Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), who came out against Obamatrade because he can’t trust Obama after the president negotiated with Cuba and Iran—that somehow Obamatrade was more transparent than the Iran deal. Scalise’s spokesman went on to say:
“If Congress had the same authority over President Obama’s Iran negotiations, as TPA would give Congress over trade negotiations, the President would not be on the road to a dangerous deal because Congress would have set the terms of the negotiations from the beginning, the American people would be able to review any proposed agreement at least 60 days in advance of a vote, and a single chamber of Congress would have the power to stop any deal that didn’t meet its terms. TPA provides unprecedented transparency, more accountability, and more Congressional direction over trade deals then has ever existed at any time in American history.”
That’s bullshit on stilts. How do they know what’s in the fucking thing if they haven’t bothered to read it?
“If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door,” Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote earlier this week. “If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving. And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.”
This is the same way ObamaCare was passed. It was concocted by a belligerent Dem oligarchy, behind closed doors, away from the public. They never bothered to read Obama’s socialist Frankenstein before they rammed through the legislature. They chose instead to ‘pass it to see what was in it’.
Why aren’t the Republicans raising hell over this latest violation of Checks and Balances?
They’re hardly the only ones refusing to admit whether they’ve read the bill. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who voted for it in the U.S. Senate after making it a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, has repeatedly refused over the past month plus to answer whether he’s made it to the room to read the TPP text. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who’s also running for president, is also refusing to answer whether he read it. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are the only two GOP presidential candidates in the Senate who read it, and Paul is the only one who voted against Obamatrade. Cruz voted for it after reading the text, but expressed his public support for the deal weeks before he read it in an op-ed with Ryan in the Wall Street Journal.
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has refused repeatedly through spokesman Matt Wolking to answer whether he read the TPP text, but he still supports Obamatrade.
According to the documents released regarding the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), which involves the United States, the European Union, and 23 other countries, the draft TISA would require all signatories to allow suppliers to keep private information of customers outside their territory. In other words, if a Pakistani company does business in the United States, that company would not be required to keep American customer information in the U.S. and could instead store that information in Pakistan. Leftists are particularly exorcised about one proposal from Turkey that would allow health tourism to foreign countries, reimbursed by home countries’ health insurance plans.
Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) supports giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as fast-track authority, to negotiate trade agreements that would then be handed over to Congress for an up-or-down vote without any amendments allowed. Boehner explained to The Hill:
“This is not about the president; frankly, it’s about the country. It’s why I’ve worked with the president on a number of trade agreements over the course of his tenure and my tenure as Speaker.”
Boehner, who has turned out to be one of the biggest pussies in the GOP, has set the example for the other RINOs to follow.
The idea behind fast-track authority is that the president will not feel free to negotiate, and no one will negotiate with him, if any agreement is subjected to the prospect that a negotiated agreement could be renegotiated by a third party – namely, Congress. But this is a particularly odd argument, because it assumes that the president wants to give away more than is in the United States’ interest to give away.
……Unless Congress doesn’t want to play bad cop. And that’s a matter of trust that changes from time-to-time. That’s why Congress should never grant TPA – it should always provide a check on the president in terms of his power to negotiate unilaterally. The executive branch should always carry in the back of its mind the fact that the legislature has final approval over any treaty, and that Congress won’t be forced to accept a crap sandwich in which it likes some material but not other material.
Congressional Republicans, however, seem to prefer the crap sandwich approach, just as they preferred the omnibus approach to budgeting that resulted in full funding for Obamacare and Obama’s executive amnesty. By giving Obama the authority to negotiate a trade agreement unilaterally, and tying their own hands by exclusively allowing an up-or-down vote, Congress avoids culpability. They can always claim that they had no power to amend the treaty, and that they had to vote for it because it contained so much good material.
The current crop of Republicans in the Congressional majority have collapsed into mush; they haven’t done one thing we elected them to do.
Stopping Obama and all of his unlawful, unconstitutional actions is at the top of the list. Instead, they’ve rolled over and played dead. They’re afraid of bucking Barky for fear of being labeled “racist”, “uncooperative”, and “mean”. 99.9% of them are worthless fucks.
Only one of them—J.D. Winteregg, the conservative primary challenger to Boehner’s speaker position—has slammed Boehner for caving:
“Boehner and his friends are spending millions of dollars to try to convince the American people that our President has the willingness and ability to negotiate a trade agreement that will benefit the US,” Winteregg said in an email to Breitbart News.
“This is the same man who traded five Islamic terrorists for a treasonous deserter. He’s also in the process of negotiating a horrible, ‘no preconditions’ deal with Iran, giving them what they want with no commitment from them to limit their uranium enrichment program. And Speaker Boehner believes this President will negotiate a trade deal in our best interests? On what basis?”
Apparently, there’s still opposition to the bill:
One aide close to the House Freedom Caucus tells Breitbart News that it’s unlikely Boehner will even be able to get a majority of Republicans to vote for this—and would therefore have to break the so-called Hastert Rule which informally requires for a Speaker to bring legislation to the floor of the House that they have support for it from the majority of their conference. That means that, if that’s true, the only way this bill will pass is if House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA bails Boehner and Obama out.