THE BLOG

RHINOs in Charge

06/24/2015 09:56 am ET | Updated Jun 23, 2016

Please. No more GOP complaints about President Obama making Constitutional power grabs. RHINOs (Republicans in Name Only) led by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) just gave the President;

1. Tacit approval to ratify a 12-nation trade agreement that covers 40 percent of the global GDP and was negotiated in secrecy by President Obama without Congressional input.
2. Agreed to allow the President to draft the implementing legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
3. Agreed to prohibit any amendments to the TPP.
4. Agreed to circumvent the treaty provisions of the Constitution and ratify this pact with a weakened Regular Order and a simple up-or-down vote.
5. Agreed to a Senate rule that for this one piece of implementing legislation cloture is banned and filibuster by any Senator is prohibited.
6. Agreed to allow this and subsequent Presidents to amend the TPP and involve other nations without any Congressional review.
7. Agreed to allow transnational corporations to challenge any U.S. federal, state or local law or regulation as "trade impeding" and allows that challenge to be heard by a tribunal composed of people who are not required to have Senate ratification and are not under the ethical requirements of the federal judiciary.
8. Agreed that there are to be no judicial reviews in the U.S. or elsewhere of these panel decisions.
9. Agreed to either change U.S. laws if required by these panels or pay fines to the plaintiff corporations from the U.S. Treasury.
10. Agreed that President Obama and his successor will have fast track authority for six years, allowing them to negotiate similar pacts with any other nation.

To add insult to Constitutional injury, the President kept secret the text of this agreement from Congress until March 2015, when only Members could view it in a guarded room in the Capitol basement. Members could not make copies; take notes or share with anyone what they had read.

It is simply unimaginable that Senator Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (D-TX) or House Speaker Sam Rayburn (D-TX) or a succession of Republican leaders would have tolerated such a Presidential trampling of Congress's constitutional authority to regulate foreign trade or insult Congress by asking them to vote to "fast track" a secret global trade pact whose text Members could not share with advisors and constituents until after the legislative wheels were greased.

In sum, the GOP has given President Obama the largest victory of his second term and they did so over the opposition of a super majority of the President's own party.

The weakening of Congressional and Judicial authority by today's GOP leadership and President Obama is historic and it weakens democracy and our entire form of Constitutional government.

When ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes to a final vote in several months, those who enacted this fast track legislation must be confronted in Washington and in their 2016 Party primaries.

These Wall Street indebted congressional officials are unfit to rule our nation and must be returned to private life.