12:34 PM, May 6, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican, has written a letter to President Barack Obama regarding the request that Congress "fast-track" legislation on Trade Promotion Authority. Sessions says he has a number of questions Congress should expect answers to before the body agrees to "yield its institutional powers." Read the full letter below:
Dear Mr. President:
You have asked Congress to approve fast-track legislation (Trade Promotion Authority) that would allow international trade and regulatory agreements to be expedited through Congress for the next six years without amendment. Fast-track, which proponents hope to adopt within days, would also ensure that these agreements—none of which have yet been made public—could pass with a simple majority vote, rather than the 67 votes applied to treaties or the 60 votes applied to important legislative matters.
The first international trade and regulatory agreement that would be expedited under “fast-track” is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. This is one of the largest international compacts in the history of the United States. Yet, this agreement will be kept a closely-guarded secret until after Congress agrees to yield its institutional powers and provide the Administration with a guaranteed “fast-track” to adoption.
The U.S. ran a record $51.4 billion trade deficit in March, the highest-level recorded in six years. This is especially concerning since assurances were made from the Administration that the recent South Korea free trade deal would “increase exports of American goods by $10 billion to $11 billion.” But, in fact, American domestic exports to Korea increased by only $0.8 billion, an increase of 1.8 percent, while imports from Korea increased $12.6 billion, an increase of 22.5 percent. Our trade deficit with Korea increased $11.8 billion between 2011 and 2014, an increase of 80.4 percent, nearly doubling in the three years since the deal was ratified.
Overall, we have already lost more than 2.1 million manufacturing jobs to the Asian Pacific region since 2001.
Former Nucor Steel Chairman Daniel DiMicco argues that we have not been engaged in free trade but in “unilateral trade disarmament and enablement of foreign mercantilism.”
Due to the enormity of what is at stake, I believe it is essential Congress have answers to the following questions before any vote is scheduled on “fast-track” authority.
1. Regarding the “Living Agreement”: There is a “living agreement” provision in TPP that allows the agreement to be changed after adoption—in effect, vesting TPP countries with a sweeping new form of global governance authority. TPP calls this new global authority the “Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission.” These measures are unprecedented. While I and other lawmakers have been able to view this provision in secret, I believe it must be made public before any vote is scheduled on TPA, due to the extraordinary implications. I call on you today to make that section of TPP public for the American people to see and review.
2. Regarding trade deficits: Will TPP increase or reduce our cumulative trade deficit with TPP countries overall, and with Japan and Vietnam specifically?
3. Regarding jobs and wages: Will TPP increase or reduce the total number of manufacturing jobs in the United States generally, and American auto-manufacturing jobs specifically, accounting for jobs lost to increased imports? Will average hourly wages for U.S. workers, including in the automobile industry, go up or down and by how much?
4. Regarding China: Can TPP member countries add new countries, including China, to the agreement without future Congressional approval?
5. Regarding foreign workers: TPA is a six-year authority. Can you state unconditionally that no agreement or executive action throughout the lifetime of TPA will alter the number, duration, availability, expiration enforcement, rules, or processing time of guest worker, business, visitor, nonimmigrant, or immigrant visas to the United States?
Thank you for your responses to these questions. Congress has an obligation to defend the legitimate interests of U.S. workers, and the rights of all Americans as citizens of a sovereign Republic.
Very truly yours,
7:30 PM, May 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a memo raising concerns about the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Alabama senator Jeff Sessions worries that the trade deal would open immigration floodgates.
11:20 AM, Apr 17, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
If there is anything that liberals and Big Business can seemingly agree upon, it’s that we don’t need an approach to immigration that benefits Main Street. It remains to be seen whether anyone running for president will seize this opening and buck the liberal-corporate consensus, but in the meantime Sen. Jeff Sessions has been ably holding down the fort against Democrats and Republicans alike. As his partial reward, he just received the wrath of the New York Times editorial board.
8:10 AM, Apr 13, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new chart from the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest has produced this chart showing that, "U.S. To Admit More New Immigrants Over Next Decade Than The Population Of A Half-Dozen Major American Cities Combined."
4:01 PM, Feb 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Republican senator Jeff Sessions will be releasing this statement responding to the Senate blocking a vote on Homeland Security funding:
9:00 PM, Feb 2, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions, the former ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, says President Obama's proposed budget "raises taxes by $2.1 trillion."
"The President has sent another tax-and-spend budget to Congress," Sessions says in a statement responding to Obama's proposed budget.
9:34 PM, Nov 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Sessions says he’s not convinced his fellow Republicans have a plan to successfully combat President Obama’s newly announced executive orders on immigration.
“I haven’t seen the details of a plan to confront this unprecedented power grab,” Sessions said in a phone interview Thursday evening. He added that while plenty of his Republican colleagues have released “tough” statements following Obama’s announcement, he hasn’t seen the party coalesce around a plan.
8:27 PM, Nov 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions responds to President Obama's executive amnesty speech:
"President Obama’s executive amnesty violates the laws Congress has passed in order to create and implement laws Congress has refused to pass. The President is providing an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with social security numbers, photo IDs and work permits—allowing them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans during a time of record immigration, low wages, and high joblessness.
5:00 PM, Nov 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions calls Barack Obama an "Emperor of the United States" now that the president is going ahead with executive amnesty.
"President Obama previously said he could not issue an executive amnesty because ‘I’m the President of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.’ Well, apparently we now have an ‘Emperor of the United States,’" Sessions writes in a statement.
11:51 AM, Nov 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions wants Congress to stop the "president's unlawful executive amnesty." And he believes that's precisely why "Voters sent Congress a Republican majority."
8:04 AM, Nov 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions, who run reelection last night in an uncontested race, says last night's Republican victory is a "mandate" to block President Obama's planned executive amnesty.
"[T]he American people dramatically repudiated the policies of President Obama, Senator Reid, and Leader Pelosi. It was also a dramatic affirmation of the policies our GOP candidates campaigned on: controlling spending, balancing the budget, repealing Obamacare, unleashing American energy, and boosting wages through pro-worker reforms," said Sessions in a prepared statement.
5:54 PM, Sep 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions issues this statement in response to President Obama's decision to wait until after the mid-term election to take action on immigration by executive order.
4:01 PM, Aug 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Sessions says Americans should be asking where their elected representatives in Washington stand on "executive amnesty," which the Alabama Republican says "could be increasingly imminent and broad in scope." Here's an excerpt from his statement:
7:39 AM, Aug 6, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich told radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday that if President Barack Obama proceeds to amnesty thousands of illegal immigrants through executive order, Republicans should make the case against such a move the party's "number one" campaign issue for the 2014 midterm elections.
4:02 PM, Jul 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Obama administration is preparing to effectively "nullify" the immigration laws of the United States through an executive action, says one Republican senator. As Time reported Thursday, President Obama appears prepared to provide millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. work authorization via executive orders: