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Democrats revolt against Obama over TPP

Published: 24 May, 2012, 19:45

Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

TAGS: Obama, Politics, Law, USA, Corporate news

A leading Senate Democrat has called out US President Barack Obama over his alleged unwillingness to keep Congress updated on negotiations over a treaty that might be potentially disastrous for America.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced legislation on Wednesday that specifically targets the Obama administration by demanding that the White House open up on details about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive, international trade agreement that, if passed, would greatly affect consumers from coast-to-coast. The lawmaker isn’t alone in his opposition against the administration, either — more than 60 House Democrats and at least one Republican have objected to provisions of the TPP, and more are expected to line up as details are made public.

According to the senator, President Obama and his cabinet have gone out of their way to keep Congress uninformed on the details surrounding the TPP, including even members of his own political party, such as Sen. Wyden. What’s more, argues the senator, is that if anyone should be kept update on the issue, it’s him — as chair of the United States Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, it is his job to be up to snuff on proposals such as this.

On the contrary, Sen. Wyden and his office have been largely kept out of the picture. The massive corporations with personal stock in the TPP, however, have been all too informed though, he says.

“The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations – like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America – are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement,” claims the senator.

That isn’t to say that Big Businesses and their Washington lobbyists are invested without reason, though. If passed in its current form, the TPP includes some seriously scary provisions that would, among other things, ban “Buy American” preference for US manufacturers and change intellectual property standards that are almost certain to cause for an increase in prescription drug costs and thus have a major impact on the American health insurance industry and all groups linked to it.

The senator claims that his office has continuously sought out more information about the proposed legislation, only to be time and time again told that his staffers lack the necessary clearance to be kept privy on the policies. Sen. Wyden says in a statement this week that he then attempted to get his office cleared to be informed of the legislation, only to be continuously left out of the picture.

“As the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, my office is responsible for conducting oversight over the USTR [United States Trade Representative] and trade negotiations,” says the senator.

“More than two months after receiving the proper security credentials, my staff is still barred from viewing the details of the proposals that USTR is advancing,” he adds.

In a statement offered to the Huffington Post, Wyden spokesperson Jennifer Hoelzer claims that the Obama administration in interpreting a decade-old law to say that only members of the Congressional Oversight Group or staffers involved with the COG office are allowed to see the agreements.

“If that is in fact their interpretation, it means that neither Senator Wyden nor his trade subcommittee staff are allowed to review documents pertaining to trade agreements,” says Hoelzer.

Now in order to deal with this grievance, Sen. Wyden has proposed legislation this week that would require the USTR “to provide documents related to trade negotiations to members of Congress and their staff upon request.” Bloomberg News reports that the USTR office has yet to offer an official response.

This is but the second time this week that Sen. Wyden has made headlines for outspoken views delivered before Congress. On Monday, he attacked the supporters of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, by calling it “an overreaction to a legitimate fear” that would only create “a Cyber Industrial Complex.”

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A Person (unregistered) June 03, 2012, 05:42

So let me get this straight: you and your administration wish to stimulate the economy by not only refusing to talk with economists, off-shoring millions of American manufacturing jobs to other countries, taxing the middle class and then passing IP laws so draconian that anyone who has so much as seen a blurry clip from The Cosby Show on YouTube would be classified as a felon.

What could possibly go wrong? Oh, right, nation-wide protests the likes of which no government has seen before, rampant homelessness, corporations suing political opponents left and right, over half the country winding up in prison, the complete destruction of small businesses and endless lawsuits against the Obama administration, everyone involved with the bill, and impeachment.


You miiiight want to reconsider.

Rven (unregistered) May 25, 2012, 11:55

It was other plans like this TPP that have led the USA to where it is now


don't believe the "official statistics" as reported by the controlled media and government; as Mark Twain said: "There are lies, damned lies and statistics"

besides this, it's not Obama's fault. he just follows orders issued to him from the hidden masters of the USA and the world ... who want the USA dead and gone - and are accomplishing this by two fronts war - draining all wealth by over taxation and concocting wars all over the world
(these are the world's finest criminal master minds at work who are behind Obama and most world's leaders ...)

maheanuu May 25, 2012, 09:55

Have been born an American and spent over 25 years either in the US Navy or a Civilian Engineer working for the US Navy, I find myself very ill at ease and saddened at the monster my mother country has become.

I immigrated to French Polynesia after retiring from the US Navy and was naturalized French in 1984 and that date is my Freedom Day.  I took no oath to a government, to a flag, I do NOT pledge allegience to anything or any one any longer.  France, to me, is the most adult nation in the world.  I do vote here and still vote in the United States.  I write to Senator Merkley regularly, and I have agreed (most of the time) with Senator Wyden.  His religion or ethnicity mean nothing to me.  I have not seen him raise the specter of Zionism like Joe Liarman or Rahm (Obama's ex toadie).  Jews are like all other religious people, superstitious and authoritarian, but that is to be expected from "Believers".  I am an Athiest, my wife is a Christian, we do NOT talk religion at home, and I attend NO church service nor do I worship any invisible being that cannot be proven to be real. 

I spent the better part of my military career outside the US, in Asia and the South Pacific.  I see incredible changes in both the government and the people of the USA and have seen these changes coming since the late 60's and early 70's.  I came back to a country that I did not recognize and found I no longer fit the mold of "American".  I guess that being a Human Being, or a Frenchman fits me better.  I find myself wondering if the United States will ever become a Democracy.  For sure it hasn't been since its inception...  Ask the Indians, the Hawaiians, the Phillipino, the Guamanians, the Puerto Ricans, the Cubans, the Chinese, Japanese and the drum beat continues on.  Personally, I believe that Fascism rules in the United States today..  The commons have been lied to, cheated and decieved for centuries.  I do not know what it is, but America is not what it believes it is or was. and with both the economy and educational systems in total ruins I doubt if they will ever return to the position they held before. 

I will not vote for Obama even though he is supposedly a Democratic Party member.  He is too owned and controlled by the hidden government that is controlling the country today..