Over the last two days, Matt Drudge, owner of the wildly popular Drudge Report, issued a series of tweets slamming Republican lawmakers for advancing President Obama’s trade deal without apparently reading the law. On Saturday, he wrapped it up with a tweet that said keeping the details from the public is “clearly treason.”
“It’s bad enough members of Congress do not read trade bills they approve,” he said on Twitter. “But now not letting the public even see them? Clearly treason!!”
“If Republicans lose 2016, it can be traced to tonight’s trade deception,” he said on Friday. “At least with Hillary we will get Sex, Drugs and Lawrence Welk.”
Earlier, he singled out House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, comparing his stand to Nancy Pelosi’s now-infamous claim that the bill has to be passed in order to determine what it contains. In one tweet, he said that electing Republicans will only ensure more power for Obama.
“Disrespect for voters is staggering,” he said. “Boehner will not make public ‘most important’ trade deal in history? Hides behind ‘classified’ status.”
On Saturday, Breitbart.com said that while details of the bill have not been made public, that “hasn’t stopped Republicans from surrendering Congress’s power to make amendments to a president’s future trade deals.” Katie McHugh said that if the GOP loses the White House in 2016, this bill could be to blame.
On Friday, Boehner praised the passage of the bill in the Senate, the Weekly Standard said. He also called on Democrats to join Republicans in passing the measure through the House.
“Trade helps create good-paying American jobs, so it’s good news that the Senate has put us one step closer to eliminating trade barriers,” he said in a statement. “These reforms have the support of farmers, manufacturers, small business owners, and Americans from all walks of life, and it’s not hard to figure out why.”
But Drudge wasn’t buying it. “BOEHNER claims trade bill support from ‘farmers, manufacturers, small business owners’,” he said in a tweet. “HOW?? They have not read it.” Boehner claims, however, the deal will help lawmakers hold Obama accountable.
“With trade promotion authority, we’ll be able to hold President Obama accountable so America’s workers can get the best agreements,” he added in his statement. “Without it, our workers will fall further behind as China writes the rules of the global economy. It is a no-brainer. The House will take up this measure, and Republicans will do our part, but ultimately success will require Democrats putting politics aside and doing what’s best for the country. Let’s seize this opportunity to open new doors for the things Americans make and the people who make them.”
But Richard Manning, president of the conservative Americans for Limited Government, warned that passage of the deal will actually cut Congress out of the picture. Part of the problem, he said, citing Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Al., is that the bill is a “living document.”
“This means the president could update the agreement ‘as appropriate to address trade issues that emerge in the future as well as new issues that arise with the expansion of the agreement to include new countries,'” Sessions said. “The ‘living agreement’ provision means that participating nations could add countries to the TPP without Congress’ approval (like China) and change any of the terms of the agreement, including in controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and foreign employees.”
“These changes,” Sessions reiterated, “would not be subject to congressional approval.” Manning went on to say that “given a treaty’s unique capacity to override conflicting regulations and statutory laws, it is reasonable to be concerned that this president or a future one would walk through the door of renegotiating the language, negating the need to consult Congress while affecting his own version of fundamental transformation.”