President Obama is seeking power the Constitution has assigned to Congress. Soon, he will formally ask Congress to surrender its constitutional authority and grant him “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority.
And House Republicans are inexplicably ready to give it to him.
Members of Congress who take our Constitution seriously will follow Nancy Reagan’s advice and Just Say No.
Article One, Section 8 of the Constitution assigns Congress the exclusive responsibility to set the terms of “commerce with foreign nations” — trade. The Founders established this clear check and balance to prevent the president from unilaterally negotiating deals that reward his supporters while harming opponents or the nation as a whole.
Under Fast Track, Obama would be able to sign commercial trade agreements before Congress votes on them. Congress would not even be able to amend the agreements in any way — it would only have an up-or-down vote when the president says so, before members could even read it.
While Congress has delegated authority to presidents in the past, it was based on the premise that the legislative branch could trust the executive branch to respect Congress’ constitutional role. This administration has breached that trust.
From the abuse of executive orders, to recess appointments, to the stonewalling of congressional oversight on Fast and Furious, Benghazi, NSA, IRS intimidation, and other scandals, this administration has shown contempt for the constitutionally mandated co-equal role of the Congress.
Given this record, Congress must not cede its constitutional authority and instead reject President Obama’s request for “Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority.”
President Obama wants fast track power so he can conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an expansive system of global governance that would deal a mortal blow to American sovereignty and our Constitution.
Fast track overrides the Constitution once — the Trans-Pacific Partnership overrides it forever.
TPP is billed a free trade agreement, but it is actually protectionism for Wall Street bailout banks, insurance and drug companies profiting off Obamacare, and the corporatists pushing open borders and amnesty under the rubric of “immigration reform.” The cronies with “access” in Washington are writing the deal while the rest of us are shut out.
TPP would subject the U.S. to the jurisdiction of foreign tribunals under the authority of the World Bank and United Nations. These unelected, unaccountable panels would constitute a judicial authority higher than the U.S. Supreme Court. They would have the power to overrule federal court rulings and order payment of U.S. tax dollars to enforce the special privileges granted to foreign firms that would be exempt from EPA and other regulations that strangle American firms.
U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman and his predecessor have said TPP is not about trade between independent nations, but about “integrating our economies” under a flag of global government. The European Union superstate, a graveyard of sovereign nations, was originally sold to citizens as a plan for “integrating economies.”
All trade agreements come with predictions of new jobs for Americans, but those promises are always empty. Obama said our free-trade deal with Korea would be a major job creator, but after it went into effect, sales of U.S. goods fell and imports from Korea rose. When you hear someone say TPP will create jobs, hold on to your wallet.
Chinese companies are already investing heavily in Vietnam to gain duty-free access to the American market under TPP and destroy the textile, shrimp, and catfish industries in the Southeast, a region that voted against Obama.
We’re also told TPP shows our Asian allies we’re serious about confronting China. But it would actually weaken the U.S. As the Chinese People’s Liberation Army uses every means possible to infiltrate our command and control systems, TPP bans Buy American policies that require crucial equipment for our troops be produced in the U.S. We don’t need TPP to stop China’s military expansion – we need to tell the same crowd pushing TPP to stop transferring their capital and technology to that communist dictatorship.
The American-in-name-only insiders who get special treatment in Washington will say anything to put their gravy train on the fast track. It’s up to those who love liberty, the Constitution, and the United States of America to slam on the brakes and tell Congress to say no to Obama’s next power grab.
Lt. Col (Retired) Allen West served 22 years in the US Army and represented Florida’s 22nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives from 2011-2013. To hear more from Col. West, visit www.allenbwest.com.