Representative Dave Brat (R-VA) argued that immigration provisions could be added to TPP and there’s “a high hurdle if President Obama puts anything in there that we don’t like” at a panel discussion on Friday.
Regarding whether immigration is in TPP, Brat stated, “part of it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is. We’re in a catch-22 here in answering this question, because we went into a security bunker to read a secret trade agreement, and so we can’t tell you. But, you used the word — someone has assured you that nothing ‘is’ in the document related to immigration, ‘is,’ so that’s in the present tense, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be tomorrow, so the word ‘is,’ is in the present, so it can be put in tomorrow, or at a future date.”
He continued, “when it comes urban legends…doing an end-run around the Constitution for me would have been considered an urban legend, right? And so if we’re going to talk about urban legends, President Obama’s unconstitutional end-run around the Constitution on amnesty, boy, that breaks the trust level up big time. So, urban legends, I would have found that believable a year ago and now it’s not unbelievable, so that’s the context we find ourselves in.”
Earlier, Brat said, “President Obama calls this a very ‘progressive’ trade deal…and that makes my ears perk up, what’s that mean?, right? And so, we just got done going through a major trust issue on President Obama’s unconstitutional end-run when it comes to amnesty and the DACA issue. In my view, he did an end-run around the Constitution, that’s a high level principle that matters when it comes to trust. So, now we’re going to enter into a trade agreement where he can still — there are ‘living sections’ to this trade agreement. And, as Raul Labrador just explained, there are about five hurdles if we want to say ‘no’ to this progress, it’s got to go through the House, the Senate, the Senate Finance, Rules, and our money committee. And so that’s a high hurdle if President Obama puts anything in there that we don’t like, and we’re promised an up or down vote at the end. But, as Raul said, that may not end up happening.” And “So, I’m leaning heavy ‘no,’ because I don’t think we’re taking these institutional concerns into account, and it appears that the US gets rolled a lot.”
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