By Joel Skousen
TRADE AUTHORITY PASSES THE HOUSE WITHOUT WORKER RETRAINING
A major loss in US sovereignty hangs in the balance as Congress wrangles over the Trans Pacific trade pact. There is a lot of Democratic opposition over the inevitable job losses these false free trade agreements bring, but they should be more worried about our loss of liberty. They aren’t because protecting big labor means more votes in the future. This trade agreement is actually a treaty between multiple nations which requires a 2/3 majority of the Senate to approve. Instead the House, for the second time in a week, voted to give the president Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) “fast track” which allows the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to pass by a simple majority of both houses with no amendments. The entire legislative process is still secret. As I said before, this was one of those globalist causes for which the PTB won’t take “no” for an answer. This week I’ll cover the deceptive maneuvers globalist Republican leaders used to overcome the opposition—many of which are still ongoing.
The TPP is a form of regional global governance masquerading as a trade organization. There have been a series of predecessors: NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO, each with some good measures that do reduce trade barriers but always laden with special privileges for international corporations, and reams of controls and regulations which are anything but free market even though less-regulated exchange is how they are sold to the public.
Last Friday the mainstream press reported that the Trans Pacific Partnership suffered a stunning setback. I was shocked because I didn’t believe the PTB would allow it to fail. In fact, the media misreported the facts. Only the White House version failed which included a taxpayer bailout for any jobs lost because of lower trade barriers. Before explaining the legislative tactics, here’s a primer on the three trade-related bills that have come forward and how they differ:
TPP = Trans Pacific Partnership. Its very title implies a trade treaty between the United States and countries around the Pacific Rim but it also includes Mexico and Canada. This allows the administration to start implementing the unpopular and failed North American Union trade pact (NAU) without saying so.
TPA = Trade Promotion Authority, aka “fast track.” This has to be approved before the TPP vote, so that the agreement is taken out of the treaty category and submitted to Congress as an agreement to be approved by only 51% instead of 2/3rds with no amendments allowed.
TAA = Trade Adjustment Assistance. Under these trade agreements, large corporations now have the incentive to move US jobs overseas and the TAA is a bone thrown to big labor to make these trade treaties more tolerable. It provides millions for job retraining if someone can prove he lost his job over the TPP—often not easy. It’s a tacit admission that the TPP is not going to be very good for a lot of American workers. Why have a massive and expensive retraining bill if everyone is going to benefit from the trade agreement?
The TAA was originally part of the TPA as passed by Senate Republicans, but in order to appease hard-line conservatives opposed to the TAA in the House, Boehner separated it out so that conflicted members could vote for TPA and not the worker bailout bill.
The trouble is the strategy backfired—at least initially. A lot of democrats joined with hard-line conservatives to vote against the TAA knowing that it was the key to killing the TPA too. They would have normally supported worker retraining, but not when it means passing the TPA. The Fast Track portion (TPA) still passed because so many republicans approved of it without the worker portion but when the TAA came up for vote it failed, so Boehner had to go back to the drawing board. Without the TAA portion the bill no longer agreed with the Senate version and has to go back to the Senate. All this week Boehner has tried various maneuvers to get both passed separately but failed yet again.
The tactics used by the administration and Republican leaders have been so convoluted and deceitful it’s hard to keep track of it all, but Kevin Drum of the left-wing Mother Jones attempted to “explain the unexplainable” on what happened this week as the establishment twisted Democratic arms and sidelined the few skeptical Republicans who oppose the TPP.
In a renewed push to win support for the fast-track bill, Mr. Obama huddled [last] Wednesday at the White House with pro-trade Democrats. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), meanwhile, said they would find a way to separately pass legislation renewing the workers’ aid program, also known as Trade Adjustment Assistance or TAA, hoping to shore up the Democratic support necessary for the new plan.
The TPA+TAA package bombed with anti-treaty Democrats, and it needed at least a few Democratic votes to pass. So what’s next? On Thursday the House will vote on just the fast-track portion—also known as Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA—on the understanding that the workers’ aid would be approved later.
Hmmm. TPA actually passed the House last week, even though TAA had already been voted down earlier in the day. So I guess the idea here is that pro-treaty Democrats will vote for TPA as a standalone bill too. I mean, if they were willing to vote for it last week after TAA had been defeated, why not vote for it this week with no TAA? Following that, it’s just a matter of sending the standalone TPA bill to the Senate and finding out if a few Democrats there will still vote for it even without TAA.
It’s all a little weird and desperate, but it might work. Republicans are swearing that if TPA passes, they’ll bring up TAA for a vote later, which is supposed to appease Democratic concerns about job losses. Dems only voted against TAA in order to kill TPA, so if TPA has already passed there’s no longer any reason for them to vote against TAA.
Of course, even if Republicans allow a vote on TAA, it also needs a few Republican votes to pass, and the problem here is the opposite: Republicans have little reason to vote for TAA once TPA has already passed and there’s no longer any need to appease Democrats. But Democrats can’t pass it alone. They need some Republican votes too. So do they trust the GOP leadership to deliver those votes?
What a rat’s nest. If you didn’t understand any of that, try reading it again. And then again. If it still doesn’t make sense, just forget the whole thing and eat a quart of ice cream. You’ll be better off.
Yesterday Boehner failed to bring enough votes around to pass the TAA, so they voted again to pass the TPA yet another time, and now it has to go back to the Senate to see if they will pass the TPA without the TAA. The bills by both houses of Congress have to match or go through a conference committee process. Because of the contentious nature of the TAA Republican leaders don’t think that will be approved. In any case, Obama as said he won’t sign the TPA without the TAA, so we will have to wait until next week to see how they will pull this off.
Make no mistake, this trade bill is a very dangerous scheme and the Republican leaders (all globalists in sheep’s clothing) are responsible. Chuck Baldwin, in his free weekly email letter rightly blamed the Republicans for making sure this latest globalist scheme got approved.
After the Republican-controlled Senate foolishly passed the so-called “Obamatrade” bill [actually, it was the TPA, which is not the actual trade bill], the House leadership (John Boehner, Steve Scalise, Paul Ryan, et al.) worked their tails off to pass the bill. But a majority of Democrats and liberty-minded Republicans (small in number) rallied in opposition to the bill and voted it down. HOORAY! In this case, it was mostly Democrats that saved the day!
I have been saying for years that people who think the Republican establishment is a friend to liberty are extremely naïve. On issues regarding so-called “free trade” (it’s NOT free trade; it’s globalism masquerading as free trade), the Warfare State, deficit spending, globalism, and civil liberties, the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., is FAR WORSE than the Democrat Party. In general terms, the Democrat Party is worse on issues that deal with gun control, welfare, abortion, gay marriage, and extremist environmentalist policies. As one should easily be able to see, there is no “lesser of two evils” between these two parties. Each party is a greater evil, depending on the issue. And taken as a whole, both parties in Washington, D.C., are selling our liberties down the river.
But this so-called Obamatrade bill is a nightmare. If you thought NAFTA and GATT are bad (and they are), Obamatrade (TPP) is far worse. Even worse is that congressional leaders will not allow the public to know what’s in the bill. Heck, most of the congressmen and senators who are voting on the bill don’t know what’s in it.
Matt Drudge paraphrases Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) angrily growling at reporters, “You will read it after we pass it.” What a pompous, arrogant jackass Mr. Ryan is. Obviously, he has been in Congress too long.
One of the senators who did read the bill is Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama). And he is doing his best to warn the American people about just how horrific this bill really is. Breitbart.com recently interviewed one of Senator Sessions’ staff leaders regarding the impact of passing TPP.
“Stephen Miller, one of the staff leaders for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), joined Breitbart News Sunday and was asked by Breitbart’s Executive Chairman and host, Stephen K. Bannon: ‘Isn’t the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) really a global governance deal, rather than a trade agreement? Is this a way to get the United States into a Pacific Union, as Senator Sessions lays out, that is very much like the European Union?’
“‘That’s exactly what is happening here,’ said Miller. ‘The Pacific Union that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) refers to is the new transnational governance body that would be created by the Transpacific Partnership.’
“‘What this means,’ explained Miller, ‘is the house and the senate together would be authorizing the president to enter the United States into a new trans-national union.’
“The Union would consist at first of twelve countries, but additional countries could join and be added over time. ‘It could issue regulations about labor policy, about immigration policy, about environmental policies, and many other areas impacting American life, American jobs, and American wages.’
“Also appearing on the program, which airs on Sirius XM, Patriot Radio, channel 125, was Lord Christopher Monckton. Monckton, who served as a policy advisor for former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, argues that a Trans Pacific Union would bear a significant resemblance to the European Union, which Monckton insists is a serious detriment to democracy and leads to dictatorship.”
“As a result, Miller added, ‘the president can enter into an unlimited number of large sweeping international agreements. And, congress can’t filibuster them, at any point, for the next six full years.’
Here is more of Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) analysis from Breitbart:
“It is essential that there be no misunderstanding: fast-track preapproves the formation of not only the unprecedentedly large Trans-Pacific Partnership, but an unlimited number of such agreements over the next six years,… Those pacts include three of the most ambitious ever contemplated. After TPP comes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, followed by the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), seeking as one its goals labor mobility among more than 50 nations. [This is particularly dangerous since it will allow a huge expansion of cross-border labor to come into the US from many problem nations.]
“Together, these three international compacts encompass three-fourths of the world’s GDP. Including the nations whose membership is being courted for after enactment, the countries involved would encompass nearly 90 percent of global GDP. Yet, through fast-track, Congress will have authorized the President to ink these deals before a page of them has been made public. Then, the Executive sends Congress ‘implementing’ legislation to change U.S. law—legislation which cannot be amended, cannot be filibustered, and will not be subjected to the Constitutional requirement for a two-thirds treaty vote.”
Sessions explained later that many members of Congress didn’t realize the full implications of what they were voting on when Boehner called for a quick vote. Sessions doesn’t believe it is too late to stop the move to global government, but I’m not so sanguine. Presumed hardliner Ted Cruz disappointed Tea Party conservatives again when he voted for TPA.
“According to the European Commission, the TiSA agreement—which most House and Senate members did not know about when they voted—will follow in the footsteps of the WTO’s Trade in Services Provisions, which has already inhibited the U.S. from making needed immigration changes,” Sessions said. “The European Commission says the EU ‘wants as many countries as possible to join the agreement.’ We have already seen how the EU has curtailed sovereignty in Europe; we do not want to follow in its footsteps.”
With regard to TPP, Sessions warned that America has “never seen” anything like it before—and that it’ll force the United States into a version of the European Union he calls “a new Pacific Union.”
“This nation has never seen an agreement that compares to the TPP, which forms a new Pacific Union,” Sessions said. “This is far more than a trade agreement, but creates a self-governing and self-perpetuating Commission with extraordinary implications for American workers and American sovereignty. Such a historic international regulatory Commission should never be fast-tracked, and should never be put on a path to passage until every word has been publicly scrutinized, every question answered, and every last power understood by Congress and the American people.”
(Click the link.)