By: May 2, 2015, 3:43 PM | Source: CBS NEWS
Amid conservative dread that ongoing trade negotiations would lead to more executive power over immigration policies, the Republican Party is pushing to clarify just what a “fast-track” trade promotion authority (TPA) bill would mean for the everyman.
“It is about creating more jobs for the American people and helping hardworking American families,” Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson said Saturday in a video addresspushing for the fast-track legislation. “Raising the prosperity of the American people is the best way to raise revenue while also raising hope and opportunity. This trade promotion authority legislation does precisely that.”
The TPA bill — the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 — will soon be up for a vote in the Senate. It would give Congress the ability to set objectives for any international deals the White House negotiates. The “fast track” legislation would also allow Congress a yes-or-no vote on any future trade deal, though it would prevent the deliberative body from proposing any amendments.
President Obama, for his part, has been actively advocating for the “fast-track” trade legislation. TPA will come to a vote ahead of the White House’s final negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, involving the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, now years in the making.
The president’s backing of the bill has made it enough of a contentious issue that several conservatives are questioning if TPA would significantly expand executive powers.
“Trade promotion authority does not give any president any new authority to expand immigration or change other laws,” Isakson said, “without the approval of the Congress of the United States.”
“Every trade agreement will still be scrutinized by your representatives and by the senators in Congress,” the George Republican reiterated in his address. “Republicans will not support any attempt to override U.S. law by sneaking extra provisions into any trade agreement — that includes provisions on immigration policies.”
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