What in the world is the matter with Boehner Republicans in the U.S. House? Haven’t they had enough of Obama exceeding his presidential authority, disobeying the Constitution by refusing to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and issuing executive regulations to “legislate” what Congress refuses to pass, such as the Dream Act?
We’ve never had a president who so arrogantly grabs and uses such unlawful power. He repeatedly granted waivers or exceptions or delays to groups from laws that gave the president no such authority, such as welfare reform and Obamacare.
The latest example of Speaker John Boehner’s coziness with Barack Obama is the current plan to give the president a grant of tremendous power, not authorized in the Constitution, called Fast Track. The Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority “to regulate commerce with foreign nations,” but Fast Track would give the president power to sign trade agreements before Congress has an opportunity to vote on them and then unilaterally write legislation making those agreements U.S. federal law.
Fast Track allows the president to send these executive-written bills directly to the House under rules that limit debate, forbid all amendments and require a vote within a preset time period. In other words, the House cedes to the president its constitutional power to write legislation that regulates commerce with foreign nations.
We know how Fast Track works because we had it when we joined NAFTA. Among its obnoxious provisions is allowing the president to appoint for the trade negotiations 700 industry advisers who are given access to confidential negotiating documents that are denied to Congress and the U.S. public.
Obama is pressing hard for the immediate passage of Fast Track so he will have a free hand in making deals with other countries. Now in the fast lane is a new trade treaty called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 countries: Mexico, Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Chile.
All trade treaties come encrusted with glowing predictions of creating new jobs for Americans, and those promises always turn out to be false. Like the old saying, Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me – and it is shame on the Boehner Republicans if they induce us to pass another trade treaty that creates jobs only in other countries.
For example, Obama promised that our free-trade deal with Korea (KORUS FTA) would be a major U.S.-job creator. That was a lie: after the KORUS went into effect, sales of U.S. goods to Korea fell 17 percent (costing 40,000 U.S. jobs), and imports rose 18 percent, so KORUS was a jobs-creator in Korea, not the United States.
In his campaign, Obama promised to eliminate or reform NAFTA-type trade models but has now made them a major part of his agenda. That shift is probably because of the other provisions of the trade agreements nobody knows about until after they are locked into U.S. law.
Some of the 11 TPP countries are notorious for their persecution of Christians, including Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Brunei, for example, where current negotiations are now going on in secret, has a constitution that states: “The religion of Brunei Darussalam shall be the Muslim religion,” which means Islamic Shariah law supersedes all other law and regulates all aspects of life.
Christians and their clergy are harassed at every turn in Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Spies attend nearly every Christian gathering.
Brunei ranks 28 on the Open Doors annual World Watch List of 50 nations where Christians suffer the most persecution for their faith by Muslim governments. Brunei forbids the importation of Bibles and all non-Islamic texts or symbols, yet Obama has the gall to tell us TPP is “free trade” and that we should give him extraordinary powers under Fast Track.
According to Public Citizen’s Global Trade watch, 24 of the 29 chapters of TPP are not really about trade, but rewrite some of our domestic policies. These chapters include provisions about the environment, health, food safety and Internet-freedom protections, plus giving corporations expanded privileges over federal, state and local governments.
Constituent calls are pouring into Congress rejecting Obama’s war in Syria and demanding border security, not amnesty, and the defunding of Obamaare. They surely are not asking Congress to pass TPP for which secret negotiations are now going on in Brunei. Tell your congressmen you will hold him responsible for Obama’s anti-American actions made under Fast Track.