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CHQ and Rand Paul Come Out Swinging Against TPA and TPP

Rand Paul Campaigning In New Hampshire

After a visit to the secret Capitol reading room – off limits to citizens and the news media – Senator Rand Paul has come out swinging against the secretive Obama trade deals that have roiled Capitol Hill and for the past month divided conservatives who traditionally have seen international trade as a net plus for the American economy.

“I’ve told leadership I’m a ‘no’ vote” on trade promotion authority,” Paul said in New Hampshire, according to ABC affiliate WMUR. “I’m hesitant to give blanket authority on stuff we haven’t seen. I’m not saying there wouldn’t be a time I could be for it, if I’d seen the trade agreement, and it’s fine.”

Paul told the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement “is being held under lock and key” by the Obama administration “because they’re afraid that if the public knows what we are going to vote on, that somehow that would destroy the republic.”

Paul’s comments in New Hampshire echoed sentiments he expressed in an exclusive interview with Breitbart’s Matt Boyle wherein the liberty-minded Senator attacked the secrecy surrounding the Obama-backed trade deal. (Members of Congress are not allowed to take notes or make copies of the agreement.)

Boyle interviewed Senator Paul after he went inside the secret room inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning to read the TPP text and told Breitbart News exclusively afterwards that he believes President Barack Obama should make it public now.

The deal’s text is kept in a room behind double doors that each have signs: “No Public Or Media Beyond This Point.”

“It’s done like you’re going in to read a classified briefing though it’s not actually ‘classified.’ It’s called ‘confidential,’” Paul said in an interview with Breitbart News outside the room after reading it. Paul and his legal staff spent about 45 minutes in the room reading the deal’s text reported Boyle.

Paul said he thinks the “secretive” process hurts the “cause” of TPA and TPP advocates, and is calling on the Obama administration to publicly release the deal’s details before future votes on the matter in the U.S. Senate.

“The thing is is that I think it actually hurts their cause by making it so secretive—while I can’t discuss the details of what was in there because of them calling it secret, I didn’t see anything that I didn’t think couldn’t be made public with a problem,” Paul said according to Matt Boyle’s reporting. “If so, I’m missing something because we read through 800 pages of it and we didn’t see anything that I couldn’t conclude couldn’t be made public.”

Paul said he thinks the secretive process makes it look like the government has “something to hide” and that he thinks if Obama opened up the process it’d make it easier for several Senators—and the American people—to truly understand what it is they’re voting on.

“I think it would make a difference for some folks, myself included, if they were to make it less secret because they think that really to vote on things that there’s a suspicion among the American public that if someone is making something secret they’ve got something to hide—particularly from the government’s point of view—so I’d like to see the process opened up,” Paul told Boyle.

“I still might vote for the trade agreement, but I hate giving up power. We give up so much power from Congress to the presidency, and with them being so secretive on the treaty, it just concerns me what’s in the treaty,” Senator Paul told WMUR.

Senator Paul is exactly right in his criticism of Obama’s TPA and the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. They cede power to a President that has proven himself to be a usurper in other matters where the Constitution clearly grants Congress the authority to act, and perhaps most chillingly, are being conducted in a cloak of secrecy that is more indicative of coup d’état than a democratically managed process between co-equal branches of a federal constitutional government.

Thinking that voting down TPA and the TPP will magically bring back America’s heavy manufacturing sector is pure folly – the 20th Century is gone and Studebaker is never going to be the largest employer in South Bend, Indiana again and Pennsylvania’s steel jobs will never be back to the levels of the 1950s when employment in that industry peaked.  

TPA and TPP may have many positive economic benefits to America’s 21st Century economy – but how can anyone know or make an informed decision in the atmosphere of secrecy and deception fostered by Barack Obama and his establishment Republican facilitators on Capitol Hill?

We urge CHQ readers to call their Senators and Representative (the Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) to demand they vote “NO” on TPA and “NO” on the Trans Pacific Partnership unless and until their provisions are made public and disinterested studies of the economic benefits to American workers and quality of life are conducted.

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No Obamacare, no Obamatrade

I understand health care and trade are different animals, but I'm surprised at how many politicians that are opposed to Obama, Obamacare, & secrecy in government are on board with this.

Thank you for this article, I am always interested in reading about Rand Paul as he is the number one defender of the Bill of Rights/Constitution.

Trust the President?

Why would anyone consider placing trust for trade or any other agreements in the hands of President Obama, known for opacity, obfuscation, prevarication, and administrative overreach into the legislative process? The best thing that Congress can do is handcuff him for the remainder of his term on any issue above the menu for the next state dinner at the White House.