Exclusive — Rand Paul Slams Rubio over Obamatrade: ‘We Should Read Legislation Before We Vote on It’

AP Photo/Jim Cole

MERRIMACK, New Hampshire — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is opening fire on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and everyone else who backed or is backing Obamatrade without reading the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) would fast track.

In an interview on Saturday morning, when asked about the revelation that Rubio and others in the Republican Party voted to fast-track the TPP in the Senate—and many in the House GOP leadership have been pushing it—without reading the text of the TPP in the secret room inside the Capitol, Paul went ballistic.

“The American people are frustrated by Congress—Congress has about a 10 percent approval rating,” Paul said. “I think part of that is that they don’t think we’re taking the amount of time to do an adequate job to read the legislation. It’s sort of twofold: They don’t give us enough time, and they also make the bills too long. I have a bill called Read The Bills Act, and in it there’s a requirement that you have to wait one day for every 20 pages of legislation. So 800-page legislation [like Obamatrade] would wait 40 days. You’d wait 40 days so we’d have adequate time to read it. Yeah, I’m a believer that we should read legislation before we vote on it.”

Paul’s interview with Breitbart News came inside Joey’s Diner, where several presidential candidates campaign. Paul gave brief remarks to kick off an event with local conservatives, then shook hands, talked with patrons, and took pictures with them.

Paul also said that “absolutely” President Barack Obama should immediately release the TPP text, instead of keeping it hidden from the public.

“It kind of boggles the mind,” Paul said “Who’s in charge of the administration that decides to keep a trade treaty secret? To keep it classified makes no sense at all.”

Paul also laid out how this deal would cede congressional authority to the administration even more—despite Obamatrade proponents’ arguments to the contrary.

“To me, it’s kind of you put the cart before the horse to give the permission to do something you haven’t seen,” Paul said. “They claim you’ll get to see it, again but you’ll only get an up-or-down vote with no amendments. Also, they get rid of some of the rules on—I guess it’s not, you can’t filibuster it either. It passes with a simple majority.”

Obamatrade has been infuriating Republican primary voters nationwide, and Paul’s been riding his opposition to the proposal and his big victory against the National Security Agency (NSA) spying program this past week on the campaign trail here in New Hampshire as he tours through diners and does several public events in the Granite State.

Earlier this week, Breitbart News reported that Rubio is refusing to answer whether he’s gone to the secret room inside the Capitol to read the text of Obamatrade. What’s perhaps most shocking about Rubio’s decision to vote for such sweeping trade legislation his staff, by not answering whether he read it therefore choosing to give off the public impression he didn’t, suggests he knows nothing about, is that Rubio decided to make Obamatrade a foreign policy centerpiece of his presidential campaign. He touted his support for it and why he thinks such a deal would help America in a speech last month to the Council on Foreign Relations. That decision seems to be coming back to bite him more and more, just like his support for the “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill last Congress still hurts him.


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