In an attempt to generate more opposition to the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., issued a statement that highlights the dangers of the fast-track process. He said that under TPA, trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership or the Trade in Services Agreement could establish broad goals for increasing immigration and the President could implement those changes through executive action or easily change our laws through the fast-track process.
The following are excerpts from Sen. Sessions’ statement:
“The entire purpose of fast-track is for Congress to surrender its power to the Executive for six years…A vote for fast-track is a vote to authorize the President to ink the secret deal contained in these pages—to affix his name on the Union and to therefore enter the United States into it…before a page of it has been shared with the public.
"Amendments to specify that Congress retains exclusive legislative authority, and to actively prohibit foreign worker increases, were blocked by fast-track backers. Fast-track supporters have tried to temper concerns about the formation of [a] transnational union [under the Trans Pacific Partnership], and the subsequent Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) that would also be pre-approved through fast-track, by adding additional “negotiating objectives” via a separate customs bill. The negotiating objectives are not binding, are not meaningfully enforceable, and no individual lawmaker can strike any provision which violates them.
"Under the Ways and Means “solution,” TPP, TTIP, and TiSA could establish broad goals for labor mobility (allowing Ways and Means to say the negotiating objectives about “requiring” or “obligating” certain changes has not been violated) and the President would then implement those changes through executive action, or change our laws through fast-track.
"It stretches the outer bounds of logic to contend that a President who happily disregards the Constitution will be bound to obey a series of broad “negotiating objectives”—especially when those objectives come with a promised surrender of congressional power.
"Americans have seen their sovereignty, economic position, and political power erode. They have seen that power transferred to an elite set who dream of writing rules in foreign capitals, unburdened by the concerns of the ordinary citizen…Like the Gang of Eight, like Obamacare, and so much else—the goal is to get it approved before the American people know what’s in it."
Updated: Fri, Jun 26th 2015 @ 2:00pm EDT