Senate hearing on incomplete fast track trade bill imminent

A heretofore secret hearing is being held on a secret bill to enable expedited passage of a secret treaty. Only in D.C.

April 14, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to a Politico Pro report that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) would hold an April 16 hearing “regardless” of whether legislation granting trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been introduced:

“Senator Orrin Hatch apparently plans to hold a hearing that has not been officially announced on a trade promotion bill nobody has seen yet because it’s not finished, on a Pacific trade deal that nobody can read because it’s secret.

“Doubling down on Nancy Pelosi’s you’ll have to pass it to read it declaration on Obamacare, Senate Republicans are raising the absurdity that is Washington, D.C. by holding a Senate Finance Committee hearing on providing Obama fast track trade authority without the ability to even examine a bill. Fast track limits the constitutional requirement for treaty ratification to a simple majority rather than a two-thirds Senate vote requirement.

“The controversy is over a 99 percent completed trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A trade deal which is so hush-hush that Obama officials limited briefings on environmental portions of it to staff with secret or above clearance levels. It is shameful that Republicans have not only backed away from requirements to have bills posted in advance of votes so the public has the opportunity to read them, but this new blind committee hearing process rivals the opaqueness of the Pelosi-Reid reign.”

Attachments:

“Hatch hopes for TPA bill tomorrow,” Politico Pro, April 14, 2015 at https://www.politicopro.com/go/?wbid=51642

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government Foundation at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG Foundation President Nathan Mehrens.

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