I can say in all honesty I never expected to see a betrayal of the public by Congress as blatant as the one perpetrated in the passage of Obamacare when Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill, so you can see what is in it.”
In one of those exceedingly rare occasions, Democrats were doing something right — in this case by proposing the Trade Transparency Act to make President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership available for review by Congress and the public for at least 60 days before moving to the floor for a vote.
But the transparency act apparently was blocked by Republican Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Finance Committee.
Without the transparency act, the secret trade legislation can be reviewed by members of Congress only if they go into a guarded, sealed room without any staff or any way to take notes on what’s in the act.
They also can’t speak to anyone without high-level security clearance about what they’ve read.
Hatch, in justifying his opposition to government transparency on what is reportedly the most complex trade deal in history, said, “If senators are concerned about the level of transparency on trade agreements, they should support the current legislation.”
Hatch admitted he doesn’t know what’s in the Trans Pacific Partnership bill.
And he’s the “primary author.” …
So in other words, we don’t know what we’re proposing or what we’ve created — but vote for it if you want to read it. …
Which the Senate did, voting 62-28 to end debate, handing Obama a significant win.
In a downright perverse pairing, a majority of Republican senators are teaming up with Obama to support the TPP bill, which would give the president authority to fast-track trade deals with foreign nations and ram them through Congress without any amendments.
Opposition to this expansion of dictatorial powers for the president has come mostly from Democrats.
This is the part of the ride where you go through the corkscrew and have no clue which way is up.
I think the Republican leadership has proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that there truly is no reason to expect any improvement will come to this country by voting Republican.
On a certain, very cynical level, that’s been clear for some time, though it’s not one of those things a lot of Americans would like to admit. You never really want to believe that there’s no hope.
Then some dipstick politicians come along and prove just how naive you are.