If you are watching the news, or were listening to Mark Levin’s rant last evening, the subject du jour is the Senate passage 96-1 of the Corker-Cardin bill. Yes, that is Tennessee’s own Republican Senator Corker, who obviously has his political eye set on a future in the White House.
The bill is advertised by Republican leadership as a great victory, giving Congress 30 days to review the President’s secret nuclear treaty negotiations with Iran before enactment. Under present law, the President cannot execute a treaty with a foreign nation unless it has the approval of 2/3 of the Senate. All senate Democrats present, and all but one Republican, voted to approve Corker-Cardin, plus the President has promised to sign the measure into law. That in itself should have raised some Republican red flags. But the only opposition to passage was that of an upstart Republican freshmen senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton. Oh well, he probably didn’t want an office desk anyway.
Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the US Constitution stipulates that there can be no foreign treaty executed unless 2/3 of the senators present approve. But under Corker-Cardin, the President’s Iranian Nuclear Deal is binding unless Congress disapproves. See the difference? If Congress should disapprove, the president can nullify such disapproval with a veto. Thus Obama’s Iranian Nuclear Deal will stand if only 34 members of Congress refuse to override his veto, instead of the 67 needed to support his treaty. Are Corker and friends really that dumb?
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) said, “I look forward to House passage of this bill to hold President Obama’s administration accountable,” It doesn’t.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he just wants to get beyond the Iran matter to move on to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal before critics rip it apart. Just move on, nothing more to see here!
But in this era of unprecedented transparency in government, in order to even see what is in the aforementioned TPP agreement that the Obama administration is hell-bent on passing, you’ve got to (1) be a member of Congress, (2) go to secret classified briefings room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center, (3) leave your staff and cellphone at the door, (5) be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read it, (6) return what you have just read, (7) hand over any notes you may have made, and (8) no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read with anyone! Do visions of Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare come to mind?
The Congressional Research Service admits that if the United States signs on to an international trade agreement, the implementing legislation of that trade agreement would supersede any conflicting federal, state, and local laws. When this occurs, domestic U.S. workers may be subject to a sudden change in tariffs, regulations, or dispute resolution proceedings, which would now be in the hands of international tribunals outside the U.S.
A particularly suspicious aspect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a clause called the “living agreement.” The ‘living agreement’ provision means that participating nations could both add countries (like China) to the TPP without Congressional approval, and could also change any of the terms of the agreement, including controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and foreign employees. Critics see this as another open-ended invitation for foreign immigration. Any such changes would not be subject to congressional approval. What kind of an “agreement” is that?
Only two senators, Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Mike Lee (R-UT) have run the gauntlet to actually read the TPP document. Lee is still “undecided” on the issue. Don’t know about Sessions, but he has written the President, requesting that the content of the TPP be made public prior to any Congressional vote. No response.
We are familiar with situations where we are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. This time we are damned by what Congress has done, and will be further damned with what Congress is about to do.
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