Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) says he’ll oppose giving President Obama fast track trade authority.
On The John Fredericks’ Show, Brat said Obama’s push for fast-track trade authority is similar to the efforts Obama used to pass through immigration amnesty, calling them rushed processes that occur behind closed doors without public debate.
“Debate is a very healthy thing… We need to debate and show where the pressure points are on these arguments, [but] we can’t do that. [Instead] I have to go down to a security bunker– and I have been in there to read the bill– and it’s 400 pages,” Brat said. “What am I going to do? Memorize that and then arrange the key points in my head? And then part of it’s classified and you don’t know what you can even mention to your fellow members or not that haven’t read it yet because it’s under security.”
Brat also criticized Congress’ attempt to include a provision within the National Defense Authorization Act that would have given the Pentagon the option to consider illegal immigrants who came to America as minors to join the U.S. military for citizenship, although the Act made several cuts to current military personnel positions held now by Americans.
Brat said Congress “laid off 30,000 of our best and brightest in the services last year because we can’t afford it in the budget, we’ve trained some of these people in to the [tune of] $100,000 a piece– we’re letting them go; they’ve been trained [and are] assets for our military and the other side is arguing that illegal aliens coming across… are the best we can do for our services. It’s a slap in the face.”
Brat said he is a free trader and is disappointed he has to take this position because he knows many of his constituents need trade to take place, but the ultimate decision rests on trusting President Obama and the process.
“I operate on the fundamentals: the rule of law matters, the Constitution matters, the free market matters, telling the truth matters, and if any of those get violated, I’m a no,” Brat said.