Thursday, June 11, 2015
GOP Senators warn that TPP would gut congressional powers and authorize President Obama to form new international bureaucracy
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, joined with U.S. Rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in issuing the following joint statement regarding the impending vote on fast-track executive authority:
“When the Senate voted on fast-track, many Senators were unaware that they were voting to authorize the President to form a new transnational governance structure. The Trans-Pacific Partnership resembles a treaty more than a trade deal. And like a treaty, it confers the power to both compel and restrict changes to U.S. policy, to commit the U.S. to new international obligations, and to cede sovereign authority to a foreign body. Specifically, TPP calls for the formation of a permanent political and economic union known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission, which will have the power to issue regulations impacting not only trade but immigration, the environment, labor, and commerce. This global union would be able to add new member countries and, because TPP is a ‘living agreement,’ it will be able to change the agreement after its ratification.
"By adopting fast-track, Congress would be formally authorizing the President to finalize the creation of this Pacific Union and will have surrendered its legislative prerogatives. Before a word, line, paragraph, or page of this plan is made public, Congress will have agreed to give up its treaty powers. Not only that, but Congress will have also given up its powers to amend the deal, revise the deal, fully debate the deal, or apply a cloture vote in the Senate. In effect, one of the most sweeping international agreements seen in years will be given less legislative scrutiny and process than a Post Office reform bill. And, once the trade implementing legislation is enacted, that implementing language itself will necessarily supersede U.S. law.
"In its rush to approve these new powers for the President, Congress risks the jobs, wages, rights, and sovereignty of U.S. citizens. President Obama demands we give him this new authority, yet he refuses to answer even the most basic questions about it. What we do know is that whatever structure the President creates with these new powers—we are told that the plan is ‘the most progressive in history’—it will endure long after he has left office.”