Gun Owners of America (GOA) is sounding the alarm over an effort in Washington to give President Barack Obama “fast track” authority to negotiate a trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 12 other nations that Congress won’t have an opportunity to read or amend before giving it an up or down vote later this year.
According to GOA, this is ObamaCare all over again reminding members of the famous quote by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that ushered in President Obama’s socialist style government run health care system in 2010:
“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”
How can a secret trade deal negotiated by President Obama affect the Second Amendment right of all law-abiding Americans to own and use firearms for hunting, shooting and self-defense?
Plenty according to GOA, a gun rights organization that boasts over 300,000 members. In an article published on its website, GOA reminds its’ members:
“Will UN-style gun control be rammed down our throats?” And what about “Gun import bans … Microstamping of firearms … Ammunition bans … The full implementation of the anti-gun UN Arms Trade Treaty … Illegal amnesty which locks in millions of new, anti-gun voters.”
“And this agreement DOESN’T need two-thirds vote in the Senate, as a treaty would. When completed, the agreement is merely subject to a majority vote in both Houses … it can’t be filibustered … it can’t be amended … and the GOP can’t refuse to consider it.”
GOA leaders point to another “approve now, read later” law that Congress passed called the Cromnibus bill in December 2014. Congress blindly passed it without closely reviewing it and only learned later that:
The law included “the largest funding increase in history for the federal gun database,” as well as regulations empowering “states to impose gun bans based on doctor’s orders.”
Michael Hammond, legislative counsel with Gun Owners of America, asked World Net Daily this rhetorical question in an interview:
“Republicans whine about Obama usurping legislative authority, so why in heaven’s name are they thinking of giving him unlimited legislative authority to do anything he can put into a trade agreement?”
Yet Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Orrin Hatch support this approach regardless. They argue that it permits “Congress to set goals for an agreement that Obama administration will negotiate.”
Ryan and Hatch think the legislation will box in Obama on what he can and can’t negotiate in a trade deal but these assurances didn’t impress Hammond who pointed out that:
“…the Obama administration has already been negotiating the TransPacific Partnership for six years without any congressional input. So what in the world makes them think that he cares even an iota about their “goals”?
“I don’t think it’s wise to allow Obama to promulgate any law he wants as long as he succeeds in sticking it in this agreement and then gets Congress’ assent on an up or down vote without any possibility for amendment.”
GOA has decided “fast track” authority is a bad idea and isn’t taking any chances.
To that end, GOA is asking members to write their representatives in Congress to vote against the Obama negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership while there is still time suggesting that that the vote on “fast track” authority will weigh heavily on GOA’s Political Victory Fund endorsements going into the 2016 presidential and congressional elections.