Mitch McConnell promises to make sure that Barack Obama is granted special trade authority to limit the Senate’s oversight.
Back in March of 2013 I had to write the loathsome headline: “House Dems Preventing GOP from Giving Arbitrary Unilateral Power to White House?!”
I hadn’t been paying close attention to the White House push for the Trans Pacific Partnership, mainly because it didn’t really seem possible. After all, the only way for the trade treaty to be negotiated is for Congress to willingly give up its authority to the President. And, after the way Obama treated Congress during the government “shutdown,” how he derided them for opposing Obamacare as if that opposition were narrowly ideological or partisan, and how the Senate Democratic majority has “gone nuclear,” why would Congressional Republicans consent to that? For that matter, why would they do it under any circumstances?
But, in fact, the Republicans were falling all over themselves to grant that authority to Obama and the Democrats were the ones who kept them from doing so!
So Republicans want to give President Obama the authority but the Democrats are stopping them? That makes no sense to me at all. I can only guess that Republicans think that granting superpowers to Obama is OK because the Trans Pacific Partnership is a “free trade” agreement. But, even if that were true, I still don’t think it is wise to grant the executive branch such power. And it isn’t true. The Trans Pacific Partnership may well be the opposite of a free trade agreement when one looks at what is actually in the agreement rather than the labels put on it by lobbyists.
Back then, the Republicans did not have a majority in the Senate. Now they do. Thus, I saw the headline yesterday at Bloomberg Politics, “Obama’s Trade Bill Gets Boost as Mitch McConnell Vows Vote ‘Soon.’”
The U.S. Senate will take up legislation to give President Barack Obama the trade negotiating authority he wants “very soon,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
“It’s been almost an out of body experience but we’ve been working closely with the White House,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday as he said the trade bill would follow action on two other measures. “We’re working together to try to get it across the finish line.”
Frankly, McConnell has been having too many “out of body experiences”!
Negotiated trade deals are not free trade. This bill is going to be filled with cronyism. In what world could Barack Obama be trusted to make a treaty that actually honored market principles? It is absurd.
There are a great many Republicans in Congress who deserve to have out-of-Legislature experiences.