Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote an op-ed today for Breitbart.com, announcing that he will oppose the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill passed by the House unless it includes Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-Ala.) amendment that unequivocally prohibits trade agreements from allowing new foreign workers to take U.S. jobs. The announcement represents a reversal in position for Sen. Cruz.
In the op-ed, Sen. Cruz wrote that he is troubled by the discovery of sections of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), that would be fast tracked by approving TPA, pertaining to changes in immigration law without Congressional approval.
First, WikiLeaks subsequently revealed new troubling information regarding the Trade in Services Agreement, or TiSA, one of the trade deals being negotiated by Obama.
Despite the administration’s public assurances that it was not negotiating on immigration, several chapters of the TiSA draft posted online explicitly contained potential changes in federal immigration law. TPA would cover TiSA, and therefore these changes would presumably be subject to be fast-track.
Sen. Cruz then described how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked votes on amendments authored by both he and Sen. Sessions' that would bar fast-track treatment for trade agreements that impact immigration law.
When TPA last came up for a vote, both Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and I introduced amendments that would have barred fast-track treatment for any trade agreement that attempted to impact immigration law. Two other Republican senators objected, and we were both denied votes on our amendments. Instead, the House inserted substantially weaker language in related legislation.
At the time that Sessions and I introduced our amendments, many said our fears were unfounded. But now we have far more reason to be concerned.
Sen. Cruz concluded with a vow to vote no on the legislation if the Cruz-Sessions amendments to TPA were not passed.
Congress must also pass the Cruz-Sessions amendments to TPA to ensure that no trade agreement can try to back-door changes to our immigration laws. Otherwise, I will have no choice but vote no.
Read the full op-ed at Breitbart News
Updated: Tue, Jul 7th 2015 @ 9:05am EDT