The bill to give Obama Fast Track Authority (FTA) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) moved to the House recently, after a divided Senate fight pitching members of both parties against each other.
Of course, the TPP has remained secretive, and won’t be open for the public to see. Many in the Senate voted for the bill to Fast Track it while presumably not reading it. Faces such as Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Ted Cruz voted for it, while it is presumed they either did not read it, or read it, and agreed with what it said. Senator Rand Paul voted against the the motion.
The House has now taken on the Fast-Track proposal. The secrecy has remained, but there is a call for transparency. Rep Jared Polis (CO) and Thomas Massie (KY) co-authored a letter to the US Trade Representative, asking for transparenct on the trade agreement, specifically asking to let the public see the Intillectual Property chapter of the deal. You can view leaked documents of this chapter from Wikileaks. For further leaks, see the Environment Chapter.
Unfortunately, their request probably won’t get any good response, other than “We made the deal available to Congressmen.” Moving on, Speaker Boehner has already come out in support of the deal (duh) and is teaming up with President Obama to move the FTA forward out of the House, and towards his desk. This comes from The Washington Times:
Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, took very different approach by urging wary GOP lawmakers to approve trade-promotion authority so that, he said, Congress will have another check on the president’s powers.
“The way things work now, the president can negotiate a trade agreement on his own, without any direction from Congress
,” Mr. Boehner
said in a video distributed on email. “Our bill flips the script. Now any agreement will have to meet goals laid out by Congress
, and it will have to withstand unprecedented scrutiny. That means more transparency, which means more authority for the American people.”
On Fox News radio, Mr. Boehner said the bill “puts Congress in a stronger position.”
“We’ve got some Republicans who don’t trust the president to do anything and don’t want to give him any authority at all for anything, and I understand their concerns,” Mr. Boehner said. “This isn’t about the president, frankly — it’s about the country. And that’s why, frankly, I’ve worked with the president on a number of trade agreements over the course of his tenure and my tenure as speaker.”
“We’ve got some Republicans who don’t trust the president to do anything and don’t want to give him any authority at all for anything, and I understand their concerns…” Just for that comment alone, you shouldn’t be the Speaker of the House, or even the Party leader in the House. Boehner believes the Obama Administration can be trusted to negotiate a free trade agreement, which is assuming that the Obama Administration believes in free trade, which in reality, they do not. It’s not that hard to surmise, but I guess it is for John Boehner.
Boehner and his allies in the House will push to move the bill to Fast Track the TPP out of the House as quick as possible, and send it to the President. As I have said this before, this deal isn’t about free trade. The benefits of lowering tariffs are not greater than the costs of what we would end up being tied up in complying with. No conservatives, Congress won’t be the one passing those things if the American people want them to or not: it’ll be the abdication of Congress’s power if they vote to pass this.
I remember back after Nancy Pelosi said her infamous line “Well, we have to pass the bill to see what’s in the bill.” Quite frankly, that’s what the GOP is doing with this here. It was the Senate GOP who put it through, mostly without even reading it. The few who did read it, voted no. I’m talking about Sessions and Paul. I’m not sure about Lee, Collins, and the other Republican Senator who voted no, but for Lee, I think we can see why he voted “No”.
Already, the House is gearing up to, once again, abdicate it’s power to other global authorities and the President. No longer does the leadership in the GOP want to be able to govern, and quite frankly, they’re digging their own grave for their party. McConnell and Boehner are two very smart individuals, and they know that at the end of the day, they don’t care about the American people. They know they won’t lose their election. Look at McConnell in his last run. He washed Grimes away. Same for Boehner. They’re safe, almost.
The American people are being sold a bill of lies, and quite frankly, the GOP either needs to have a “come to Jesus moment”, or die. It is that simple. The lack of a spine is bad enough. Selling the American people on something they’re trying to desparetly make look good, when it’s really terrible, is a whole different issue, and it shows us that the GOP isn’t willing to govern, or at least, like it used to. In short, they’ve become the Democrat-Lite Party, serving to the needs of their masters, and making a few votes look different from the Democrat Party. We truly do live in a One-Party State, putting us on level with Iran, China, and North Korea. Think about it. Think about it.