Following Thursday evening’s near-defeat of Obamatrade on a rule vote, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) told Breitbart News exclusively that what had just happened was extraordinarily significant.
“A lot of people in the media don’t understand the rule vote… it was kind of a big deal,” he said. “This was a very unique rule where we have a bill that came from the Senate, and the bill that came from the Senate has no opportunity to pass the House of Representatives—it just can’t pass.”
Bridenstine explained that the reason the Senate’s bill can’t pass in the House is because it has Trade Adjustment Authority, which is over 2 billion dollars of welfare for people who lose their jobs when President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal is passed.
Part of this was financed with Medicare cuts in the Senate bill, but House leadership wheeled and dealed to get Democrat votes, selling out Republicans’s campaign issue in 2016.
“There was another provision today that passed that actually changed that because the Democrats didn’t want that to come from Medicare, so they changed that to now they’re going to change the way they collect taxes… and I really didn’t understand how they were planning to do that, and it came about at the last minute,” Bridenstine explained. “The Democrats that were upset about the sequester on Medicare in order to pay for Trade Adjustment Authority…they were able to get the Republicans to change the revenue—so now the revenue comes from some better way of collecting taxes.”
The fact that now the way TAA is being financed comes from small business taxes, “is the ultimate betrayal,” according to Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government.
“Republican leadership is so desperate to get Democratic votes for fast track, that they tricked 209 Republicans to vote for a small business tax increase,” Manning said.
“That’s one of the reasons I voted against the rule is because a lot of things are not being communicated,” Bridenstine added. He explained:
There’s a lot of things that are being rushed—there’s a lot of things that are not being communicated—and at the end, the rule, it creates three separate questions. So the bill that came from the Senate is going to be divided into three separate questions and each question is going to get a different coalition to pass it, but ultimately once each section passes, it all becomes the one bill again—and they claim that it passed even through the actual bill that came from the Senate never would have passed.
Breitbart News asked the Congressman about the transparency issue, which both Republicans and Democrats have raised, as President Bush had released his trade deal prior to requesting fast-track authority from Congress. Bridenstine also laid out how, unlike what some in the GOP establishment are saying, fast-track would cede congressional authority to the executive branch—not empower Congress.
“As far as the challenge to the confidentiality of the agreement—you know, what I would tell you and I think I understand that because they are trying to negotiate something, but at the same time people have an expectation that the information will be public and they want it to be public before we take a vote where we have no ability to amend or filibuster—so I think that’s a challenge,” Bridenstine said. “We’re about to take a vote that’s going to limit our ability to amend or filibuster and the public hasn’t seen what eventually it is that we might want to amend or filibuster—and I think it is unfair to the constituents that we’re being asked to vote on a bill that’s going to change on the way we represent them, but they haven’t yet seen what it is we’re representing them on.”
Bridenstine said the major issue he thinks is important in why the House of Representatives should vote “no” Friday and not grant Obama fast-track authority under the TPA is that “Every time this president negotiates with a foreign government—it ends up being a bad deal.”
Bridenstine went on to list three examples of Obama’s poor negotiations:
We saw that with—he met with Medvedev over in eastern Europe regarding the missile defense shield and he said “wait until after my next election, I’ll have the flexibility to bring down the missile defense shield,” and then what did we do? We reelected him—and then he brought down the missile defense shield.
We saw that with his negotiations with China on environmental concerns where he constricts—he unilaterally constricts our own economy to benefit the environment even though the Chinese don’t have to make any restrictions until the year 2030. Here’s another example of a good deal for them and a bad deal for us.
And if you look at what’s happening right now in Iran, where we’re going to enable Iran to have an industrial nuclear capability and in return the president is considering paying them through relief of sanctions to agree—it’s just they get everything and we get nothing. They get an industrial nuclear capability and we’re going to release sanctions—what do we get from the deal?”
“The American people have lost trust in the ability of this president to negotiate a good deal in our favor,” he concluded.
Bridenstine said it’s time for Republicans in the House to stand up and not give the president any more authority to negotiate any more bad deals for the American people.
“I can tell you—I’m going to be voting against giving this president anymore authority to negotiate bad deals.”