House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said on Fox News that he believes the Obamatrade process is more transparent than President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran—even though the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Pacific Rim trade deal that Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) would fast-track is currently being kept in secret in the basement of the U.S. Capitol and press and the public are not allowed to read it.
Ryan’s comments follow a Breitbart News exclusive with a leaders on national security issues, former U.S. Navy Seal Commander and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT).
Earlier this week, Zinke confirmed to Breitbart News that he would vote against giving President Obama fast track trade authority and questioned why Republicans who believe in a strong national defense would allow the president more authority to negotiate with foreign leaders in the wake of his negotiations with terrorist sponsored nations such as Cuba and Iran.
“I support a robust economy where agriculture and businesses are able to compete in a fair and open global market,” Zinke told Breitbart News. “However, we are talking about giving Barack Obama — a president who negotiates with rogue nations like Iran and Cuba — exorbitant authority to do what he thinks is best. Just look at the bad deal he’s crafting with Iran. At this time, I don’t have faith that President Obama will negotiate in the best interest of Montana or America.”
While speaking to Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Wednesday, Ryan asserted that “we don’t like the Iran deal that President Obama is doing.”
“Imagine if we had TPA for the Iran deal that he’s negotiating,” Ryan said. “If we had TPA for the Iran deal, we would know what’s in the deal, the country would see what’s in the deal, and Congress would have veto power over the deal before he even gets a deal. I wish we had TPA for this Iranian agreement because then we could stop this Iranian agreement. That’s why we’re doing TPA for these trade agreements.”
Ryan responding to Zinke may be a sign he’s worried about the future of Obamatrade in Congress. The Senate passed TPA in late May, but despite Ryan’s public claims the House has the votes to pass it, leadership seems reticent to take the bill up on the floor, and more members keep coming out publicly against it.
This all comes as House Speaker John Boehner is gearing up a push to drive Obamatrade through the House of Representatives.
“I don’t think we’re quite there yet,” Boehner told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on his radio program when asked if the votes were there yet to pass it.
“But over the next couple weeks, we hope to get this bill on the floor and get it passed. It’s an important priority for the country,” Boehner said.
A spokesperson for Boehner, Matt Wolking, has not immediately returned a request for comment to Breitbart News on whether the Speaker has actually visited the secret room to read the text of Obamatrade.