Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning warned earlier this week about an unscheduled and unannounced “secret” hearing by the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
The Thursday hearing was not announced on the committee’s website earlier this week, and was not on the committee calendar according to the press office until yesterday.
“Senator Orrin Hatch apparently plans to hold a hearing that has not been officially announced on a trade promotion bill nobody has seen yet because it’s not finished, on a Pacific trade deal that nobody can read because it’s secret,” Manning alleged in a statement issued Tuesday.
He adds that Senate Republicans are holding the Finance Committee hearing to provide President Obama with fast track trade authority. “Fast track limits the constitutional requirement for treaty ratification to a simple majority rather than a two-thirds Senate vote requirement,” warned Manning. He adds:
The controversy is over a 99 percent completed trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A trade deal which is so hush-hush that Obama officials limited briefings on environmental portions of it to staff with secret or above clearance levels. It is shameful that Republicans have not only backed away from requirements to have bills posted in advance of votes so the public has the opportunity to read them, but this new blind committee hearing process rivals the opaqueness of the Pelosi-Reid reign.
Breitbart News attempted to contact Hatch’s office for comment.