Good for our party, he is impressive, and one of my personal choices
Good for our party, he is impressive, and one of my personal choices
The Republican establishment is cracking down on all dissent in the party:
The House Republican crackdown has reached a new level of severity.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz has stripped North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows of his subcommittee chairmanship, just days after he defied leadership on the House floor by voting against a party-line procedural motion.
“Sometimes the coach needs to make a change on the field,” Chaffetz (R-Utah) told POLITICO Saturday. “He’s still a valuable contributor, and I really like Mark Meadows, he’s a good person. But I need to make a change.”
Losing a subcommittee chairmanship midway through a congressional session is among the most serious punishments thus far in Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) majority. Boehner and his leadership team have grown frustrated with Republicans who vote against the procedural “rule” motion. Those votes — which allow the Republican leadership to bring a bill up for debate and a vote — typically fall along party lines. But a group of conservatives has voted against the measures, mostly in protest of Boehner’s leadership. Republican leadership sees the move as unacceptable —akin to ceding power to Democrats.
The offense made was voting against Obama’s trade deal.
Focus on this sentence
“Sometimes the coach needs to make a change on the field,” Chaffetz (R-Utah) told POLITICO Saturday
Yes Rep. Chaffetz, and sometimes it is the coach that needs to be shown the door. The GOP needs leadership that will fight Democrats at least half as hard as they fight Conservatives
TPA is “Trade Promotion Authority” legislation currently being considered by Congress. TPP is the “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” the pact the Obama administration is currently negotiating with several Asia Pacific nations. As the editors point out today, the two are not one and the same and they should not be conflated.
The rationale that, because President Obama abuses executive authority, he should be denied any tool that enhances executive authority is a worthy rule of thumb. But its premise is that executive authority is actually being enhanced in a manner that Congress cannot check. That, as our editorial explains, is simply not true when it comes to TPA.
The contention that TPA is unconstitutional is meritless. In our system, as Jefferson put it, “the transaction of business with foreign nations is executive altogether,” and “exceptions are to be strictly construed.” In the case of trade agreements, those exceptions include the Senate’s power over the approval of treaties and the powers of Congress over both foreign commerce and any legislation necessary to implement a trade agreement. TPA is not only fully compliant with, but reinforcing of, this constitutional arrangement.
Foreign countries should not be made to negotiate with both the president and Congress in striking a deal. It is enough for them to know (as Senator Tom Cotton outlined in connection with President Obama’s Iran deal) that any agreement the president makes is subject to congressional approval if it is to have the force of law. Since the point of a trade agreement is to structure a legal framework for international commerce, we must thus infer that the countries negotiating such a deal want a workable legal structure. Our constitutional division of authorities between the president and Congress gives foreign nations an incentive not to press for terms the president will not be able to sell at home – thus strengthening the president’s negotiating position.
Meanwhile, whether the international agreement in question is deemed a treaty or an agreement requiring implementing legislation, Congress gets the final say on whether the agreement is approved.
To claim that this deprives Congress of its ability to shape the deal is as specious as claiming that the president’s limited power to sign or veto legislation deprives him of the ability to shape congressional statutes. In our system, the president gets to negotiate deals with other nations; if Congress does not like the deal – if it concludes that the bad outweighs the good – lawmakers can and should vote “no,” sending the president back to the drawing board. That is how it is supposed to work.
To my mind, there is no more promiscuous practice in the formulation of multilateral agreements than the Senate’s addition of caveats and reservations to rationalize approving objectionable treaties. The way the international law game gets played, these caveats and reservations get marginalized and the “law” becomes the unadorned text of the treaty accepted by the signatory nations. That is, the treaty in effect becomes the agreement as signed by the president, not the ratified agreement the Senate thought it had successfully amended. We would be much better off if, instead of deluding itself with caveats and reservations, the Senate refused to ratify the treaty, forcing the president to either abandon the agreement or go back to the negotiating table and fight for acceptance of the Senate’s demands.
It is the same thing with multilateral agreements that are not regarded as treaties. There should be a clear international agreement that Congress can either approve or reject. To contort the agreement with legislative caveats injects ambiguity into the duties and benefits the negotiating nations believed they were agreeing to. Moreover, it probably won’t work: Within a short time, the international law professors will tell us that the text of the original agreement – not the agreement as Congress amended it – has transmogrified into binding international law… and the State Department will say we really have no choice but to accept the consensus of “the international community.”
Better to let the president make the agreements and let Congress say “yes” or “no” – and be ready to say “no,” not con itself into thinking it can materially improve a bad deal.
Finally, as the editorial elucidates, agreeing to TPA is not agreeing to TPP.
I confess to being troubled by reports about the secrecy in which TPP negotiations and drafts have been shrouded, although these reports may be overwrought – something I’ll address in a subsequent post. If there is, in fact, a lack of sufficient transparency on TPP, it makes perfect sense for lawmakers to condition support for TPA on better transparency. That kind of leveraging is a routine part of the legislative process. It is also especially appropriate when dealing with a president who has a long record of mendacity, lawlessness, and the exploitation of complex legal arrangements to reward cronies.
Nevertheless, if we assume for argument’s sake that TPP is a bad deal, that would be a good reason to vote down TPP. It would not be a good reason to oppose TPA.
In yesterday’s post, I argued – in agreement with NR’s editorial – that it is a mistake to conflate (a) the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact that the Obama administration is still negotiating with (b) Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation that would grant the president the ability to seek an up-or-down vote from Congress on trade deals (including TPP) on a reasonably swift time frame. TPA is a good idea, is fully constitutional, and would not prevent Congress from rejecting a bad trade deal – which is exactly what Congress should do in the case of TPP if it turns out to be a bad deal. In a column on the homepage today, I examine another objection TPP opponents raise: the purported secrecy in which the agreement is shrouded. As readers will see, this objection is a red herring which confuses the draft agreement (the work in progress that the administration has made available to Congress under restrictive terms while it conducts the sensitive negotiations) with the final agreement (which will be available to both the public and Congress long before Congress is asked to vote on TPP legislation).
As today’s column relates:
There is no requirement for the executive branch to show Congress anything that is preliminary. The only agreement that is going to be voted on is the final agreement – at least if Obama wants that agreement to have the force of American law.
Significantly, with respect to that final agreement – which, to repeat, does not exist yet – the transparency protocols are apparently extensive. According to AEI’s Claude Barfield, the legislation will provide that the actual text of the final TPP agreement must be available not just to Congress but to the public for 60 days before the president is permitted to sign it. After that, if he wants the agreement to have the force of American law, the president must formally submit the final agreement to Congress, which would then have 90 days to review and vote on it.
That is, the supposedly “secret” TPP may not be approved until the public and our representatives in Congress have five months to scrutinize it.
If Dr. Barfield is correct, and I have found nothing to suggest otherwise, then the complaints about a secret deal being rammed through Congress and foisted on an unsuspecting public – à la Obamacare – are risible.
The full column is here.
These Are The Republican Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 90 Or Above Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Joe Barton – 92
Representative Marsha Blackburn – 96
Representative John Boehner – 94
Representative Steve Chabot – 92
Representative Mike Conaway – 92
Senator John Cornyn – 92
Senator Tom Cotton – 100
Senator Mike Crapo – 92
Senator Ted Cruz – 100
Representative Ron DeSantis – 100
Representative Scott DesJarlais – 100
Senator Jeff Flake – 92
Representative Trey Gowdy – 92
Senator Chuck Grassley – 92
Representative Tom Graves – 92
Representative Jeb Hensarling – 96
Representative George Holding – 96
Representative Tim Huelskamp – 96
Senator Jim Inhofe – 92
Senator Ron Johnson – 96
Representative Doug LaMalfa – 96
Senator James Lankford – 94
Representative Kenny Marchant – 96
Representative Tom McClintock – 100
Representative Jeff Miller – 92
Representative Randy Neugebauer – 96
Representative Robert Pittenger – 92
Representative Mike Pompeo – 100
Representative Tom Price – 92
Senator James Risch – 92
Representative Ed Royce – 92
Senator Marco Rubio – 96
Representative Matt Salmon – 96
Representative Steve Scalise – 96
Representative David Schweikert – 100
Senator Tim Scott – 96
Representative Austin Scott – 92
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner – 100
Representative Marlin Stutzman – 96
Representative Randy Weber – 100
Representative Roger Williams – 100
These Are The Democrat Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 0 Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Ami Bera
Representative Susan Davis
Representative John Delaney
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Tim Kaine
Senator Patty Murray
Senator Bill Nelson
These Are The Republican Governors Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Robert Bentley – Alabama
Terry Branstad – Iowa
Sam Brownback – Kansas
Phil Bryant – Mississippi
Mary Fallin – Oklahoma
Gary Herbert – Utah
Susana Martinez – New Mexico
Mike Pence – Indiana
Pete Ricketts – Nebraska
Brian Sandoval – Nevada
Rick Scott – Florida
Scott Walker – Wisconsin
These Are The Democrat Governors Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Steve Beshear – Kentucky
John Hickenlooper – Colorado
These Are The Conservative Organizations That Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
60 Plus Association
Advance Arkansas Institute
American Conservative Union
American Enterprise Institute
Americans For Job Security
Americans For Tax Reform
Cardinal Institute For West Virginia Policy
Center For Individual Freedom
Citizens For Limited Taxation
Club For Growth
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Conservative Reform Network
Council For Citizens Against Government Waste
Frontiers Of Freedom
Georgia Center Right Coalition
Institute For Liberty
Institute For Policy Innovation
Minnesota Center-Right Coalition
National Taxpayers Union
Property Rights Alliance
R Street Institute
Rio Grande Foundation
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Jeffersonian Project
Thomas Jefferson Institute For Public Policy
These Are The Leftist Organizations That Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Progressive Coalition For American Jobs
These Are The Republican Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 90 Or Above Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Jim Bridenstine – 96
Representative Michael Burgess – 92
Representative Jeff Duncan – 100
Representative John Fleming – 96
Representative Scott Garrett – 96
Representative Louie Gohmert – 96
Representative Paul Gosar – 92
Representative Jim Jordan – 100
Senator Mike Lee – 100
Representative Cynthia Lummis – 92
Representative Mark Meadows – 96
Representative Mick Mulvaney – 95
Senator Rand Paul – 96
Representative Scott Perry – 96
Representative Bill Posey – 92
Representative Dana Rohrabacher – 96
Senator Jeff Sessions – 96
These Are The Democrat Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 0 Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Alma Adams
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Representative Tim Bishop
Representative John Carney
Representative William Clay
Representative Emanuel Cleaver
Representative Jim Clyburn
Senator Dick Durbin
Representative Bill Foster
Representative Steny Hoyer
Representative Tim Johnson
Representative Marcy Kaptur
Representative Ann Kuster
Senator Pat Leahy
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Chris Murphy
Representative Patrick Murphy
Representative Donald Norcross
Representative David Price
Representative Cedric Richmond
Senator Brian Schatz
Representative Brad Sherman
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Tom Udall
These Are The Republican Governors Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Chris Christie – New Jersey
Bobby Jindal – Louisiana
These Are The Democrat Governors Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Jay Nixon – Missouri
These Are The Conservative Organizations That Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Americans For Limited Government
Heritage Action For America
These Are The Leftist Organizations That Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Association Of Flight Attendants – CWA
American Federation Of Government Employees
American Foreign Service Association
American Federation Of State, County And Municipal Employees
American Federation Of Teachers
Alliance For Justice
Air Line Pilots Association
American Postal Workers Union
International Union Of Bricklayers And Allied Craftworkers
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers And Grain Millers’ International Union
Commonwealth Association Of School Administrators
Chicago Federation Of Labor
Civil Service Employees Association
Communications Workers Of America
Democracy For America
Doctors Without Borders
Farm Labor Organizing Committee
Global Trade Watch
Glass, Molders, Pottery International Union
International Association Of Fire Fighters
International Association Of Machinists And Aerospace Workers
International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees
International Brotherhood Of Boilermakers
International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers
International Brotherhood Of Teamsters
International Federation Of Professional & Technical Engineers
International Longshoremen’s Association
International Longshore And Warehouse Union
International Union Of Operating Engineers
International Union Of Painters and Allied Trades
Laborers’ International Union Of North America
North America’s Building Trades Unions
National Association Of Letter Carriers
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Natural Resources Defense Council
National Education Association
National Football League Players Association
National Nurses United
National Postal Mail Handlers Union – LIUNA
National Taxi Workers’ Alliance
Operative Plasterers’ And Cement Masons’ International Association
Office And Professional Employees International Union
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Retail, Wholesale And Department Store Union
The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists
Service Employees International Union
Seafarers International Union
International Association Of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers
Transportation Communications International Union-IAM
Transport Workers Union Of America
United Automobile Workers
United Brotherhood Of Carpenters
United Food And Commercial Workers International Union
United Mine Workers Of America:
Utility Workers Union Of America
On Tuesday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law the nation’s fifth education savings account (ESA) program, and the first to offer ESAs to all students who previously attended a public school. Earlier this year, Sandoval signed the state’s first educational choice law, a very limited scholarship tax credit. Despite their limitations, both programs greatly expand educational freedom, and will serve as much-needed pressure-release valves for the state’s overcrowding challenge.
When Nevada parents remove their child from her assigned district school, the state takes 90 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,100) and instead deposits it into a private, restricted-use bank account. The family can then use those funds to purchase a wide variety of educational products and services, such as textbooks, tutoring, educational therapy, online courses, and homeschool curricula, as well as private school tuition. Low-income students and students with special needs receive 100 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,700). Unspent funds roll over from year to year.
The eligibility requirements for ESA programs in other states are more restrictive. In Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee, ESAs are limited to students with special needs. Arizona initially restricted ESA eligibility to students with special needs, though lawmakers have since expanded eligibility to include foster children, children of active-duty military personnel, students assigned to district schools rated D or F, gifted students, and children living in Native American reservations.
Research shows that parents in Arizona are overwhelmingly satisfied with the state’s ESA program and, as Lindsey Burke and I recently explained, ESAs are a significant improvement over school vouchers:
ESAs offer several key advantages over traditional school-choice programs. Because families can spend ESA funds at multiple providers and can save unspent funds for later, ESAs incentivize families to economize and maximize the value of each dollar spent, in a manner similar to the way they would spend their own money. ESAs also create incentives for education providers to unbundle services and products to better meet students’ individual learning needs.
One disappointing limitation of Nevada’s ESA is that it is restricted to students who previously attended their assigned district school for at least 100 days. This eligibility requirement unnecessarily excludes students whose assigned school is low-performing, unsafe, or simply not a good fit for that student. It also excludes families and communities who object to what is being taught at the district schools. Hopefully the legislature will expand the ESA eligibility to include all Nevada students in the near future.