While Sen. Paul is focusing most of his efforts on blocking the Patriot Act extension, the trade bill is still on the Senate agenda. Is he in support of or against ‘fast-tracking’ the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Let’s do a breakdown.
Rand told Breitbart last week that “he thinks the secretive process [around the trade bill] 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.”
“The secret trade deal that his Kentucky colleague, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to rush through the Senate is about 800 pages long… and he suspects that the text he read isn’t even the final version of the deal.”
Rand’s initial reluctance towards fast-tracking the TPP didn’t go by without remarks. Daniel J. Ikenson on CATO criticized the Senator for formerly being a “no” vote on the fast-track bill (or the Trade Promotion Authority, TPA for short) and wrote:
“If I were a senator and an advocate of economic freedom who happened to be understandably suspicious about the president’s agenda, I would vote ‘yes’ for TPA, which opens the door to the possibility of even seeing a completed TPP.”
Ikenson continued by saying that a “yes” vote on TPA doesn’t mean a “yes” vote on the TPP.
“Congress and the public will have the opportunity to scrutinize the TPP for 60 days before the agreement is signed, up to another 135 days during the ‘Reporting and Mock Markup’ period, and up to another 90 days during the ‘Congressional Consideration and Implementation’ period. If Sen. Paul and his colleagues don’t like the contents of the agreement, they can vote ‘no.'”
“If after evaluating the TPP’s contents my worst fears were confirmed… I’d vote ‘no’ on its implementing legislation.”
It looks like Paul saw the tip because he later voted in favor of the TPA, according to The Hill.
The debate around the trade bill is still going strong, but that’s not without its opportunities. Roll Call reports that the Senator has filed an amendment on the bill to include an audit of the Federal Reserve.
Do you have concerns about the trade bill? We want to hear them! Share them with us by commenting below.
(Photo courtesy of GlobalTradeWatch, CC BY-ND 2.0)
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