Today (June 29, 2015) President Obama Signed a bill into law known officially as the Trade Promotion Authority, A.K.A ‘Fast-Track’. Obama along with Republicans campaigned congressional democrats, for over a year, to pass legislation on the Trans Pacific Partnership. Congress has granted the President and future Presidents unprecedented and unconstitutional powers, legislation which President Obama has since signed into law. This new legislation has people concerned with congress’s future role in global Trade, considering they just waived their future participation, moving vital decision making further away from the will of the citizenry. This legislation places new rules on congress when a trade deal originates from the white house and makes its way through the two houses of congress. With this as law, both houses of congress are revoked of their amendment and filibuster process capabilities. Along the process of legislation, congress men in women from congressional committees provide review of legislation, including offering amendments. Filibuster is a process found only in the senate (Since the House has strict rules) in which a senator prevents a decision from being made while the body is in session, by essentially wasting time..
These abilities of Congress where how legislation got done. Now regarding International trade, the congress will be a mere yes or no, stripped of any explanation. With the fate of international trade taken firmly out of the hands of representatives, the concerns of average citizens are further removed from the discussion. Now that the Trans Pacific Partnership is a reality, middle class families and workers face new fears similar to the outcome of NAFTA. In anticipation of middles class workers job lose, congress passed and Obama signed the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, which extends aid to U.S. Workers who might lose their jobs. This trade deal is not good for working families. Trade deals always have one agenda, lower labor costs and increase profits. Congress and the President are surely in bed with corporate power brokers seeking profits, needless to say they have each other’s backs in our growing corporate fascist America.
But that’s not the whole story. A reputable Interest Group, Public Citizen has published a piece on the importance of congressional authority in international trade (Find it Here). “Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress writes the laws and sets our trade policy. And so it was for 200 years. Yet, over the last few decades, presidents have increasingly grabbed those powers through a mechanism known as Fast Track. Fast Track supporters renamed the process “Trade Promotion Authority” in 2002. But that last delegation of Congress’ authority, which sunset in 2007, was the same extraordinary Nixon-era executive branch power-grab procedure.”
With Obama being historically aligned with Nixon, Progressives should be flooding the streets. while republicans on the surface appear to be in favor of small government, they are the drivers of big government decision making, supporting Fast-Track.
From this writer’s perspective, the future looks grim. Where has America gone?