Support for “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority is crumbling in the House of Representatives as constituents flood their elected officials with calls and emails, assuring backlash for any vote to give the Obama Administration more unchecked power to negotiate foreign trade pacts:
The total number of definite Republican no votes on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal—the text of which is currently being kept hidden from the American people—is probably higher than 123, some sources close to the process tell Breitbart News, despite GOP leadership’s public statements that they will pass by voting on it soon — perhaps this week.
One aide who works for a member who isn’t publicly against it yet but is opposed to Obamatrade said that Boehner will probably have to break the so-called Hastert Rule, which informally requires a majority of Republicans — 124, since there are 246 total House Republicans — to support a piece of legislation before it’s called to the House floor for a vote.
If that’s the case, with less than 20 Democrats supportive of the deal publicly, Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) would need to deliver close to or more than 100 Democrat votes to get over the golden 218 marker to pass a bill. That seems, quite frankly, impossible if Republicans are as opposed to this as it seems.
Ironically, the Republican leadership team that is pushing the hardest to approve Fast Track have not gone on the record stating that they have read the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
If fact, freshman Rep. Mimi Walters (CA-R) readily admits that she has not read the TPP, despite going on MSNBC flouting her support for ObamaTrade. The reasoning? Giving Obama more authority to negotiate trade deals without the input of congress somehow gives him less authority.
Rep. Walters has had numerous discussions regarding the TPP text, especially on the treatment of agricultural products, which are particularly vital to California’s economy. With the impending passage of TPA, Rep. Walters will be exercising the numerous congressional oversight rights. It is important to remember that without TPA, President Obama would have much more power to negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Without TPA, the President would have unlimited authority to negotiate FTAs while keeping Congress and the American public in the dark.
It is kind of hard to understand the circular logic Walters is employing. It gets even more silly when Walters goes on to defend the secrecy surrounding ObamaTrade, which is one of the things she just said she is against…I give up. Future one-term Rep. Walters also likes to tie her support for ObamaTrade to Sen. Ted Cruz’s support for ObamaTrade for some unexplained reason.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, not content to sit idly by while ObamaTrade moves through the House, sent a follow-up letter to President Obama since he never received a response to his previous letter asking specific questions about the TPP:
The implications of this new Pacific Union are extraordinary and ought to be discussed in full, in public, before Congress even contemplates fast-tracking its creation and pre-surrendering its power to apply the constitutional two-thirds treaty vote. In effect, to adopt fast-track is to agree to remove the constitutional protections against the creation of global governance structures before those structures are even made public.
I would therefore ask that you provide to me the legal and constitutional basis for keeping this information from the public and explain why I cannot share the details of what I have read with the American people. Congress should not even consider fast-tracking the transfer of sovereign power to a transnational structure before the details of that new structure are made fully available for public review.
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorino also recently made blistering remarks regarding the secrecy surrounding ObamaTrade:
But President Obama has made lofty promises before and we’ve learned with this White House that the devil is in the details. And the details are frequently very different than the lofty goals with which he describes the deal. So I’d like President Obama to tell us what’s in his trade deal before we grant him this broad fast track authority. So far, though, he’s been unwilling to do that and Hillary won’t even take a position on it. That should concern us. Mr. President, if you want TPA to pass, please just tell us what is in TPP.
For many people, from elected officials to normal citizen alike, the prospect of handing more negotiation power to Obama just does not seem like a good idea. Expecting that the guy who negotiated the release of five Taliban leaders for one deserter, cannot negotiate a deal with Iran that includes intrusive inspections of military installations, has not been able to negotiate an end to violence in Syria or Ukraine, could not negotiate a deal on immigration reform, could not negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq, and has been unable to negotiate an end to tensions in the South China Sea will all of a sudden turn into a masterful world-beating negotiating wizard seems to be a stretch of expectations to say the least. In fact, besides “transparency”, if there is one thing that Obama and his administration has proven time and again to have no skill or talent for whatsoever it is negotiation.[Breitbart][sessions.senate.gov]