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House Roll Call: 388     Vote Date: Jun 25th, 2015

Issue:  H.R. 1295 Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015.  Question: On Motion to Concur in Senate Amendment to House Amendment to Senate Amendment.

Result: Passed in House, 286 to 138, 9 not voting. Became Public Law no. 114-27 (signed by the President, 6-29-15). GOP and Democrats scored.

Freedom First Society:  This “Trade Adjustment Assistance” package is designed to provide relief in four domestic areas adversely impacted by trade agreements (such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership): workers, firms, farmers, and communities.

A federal aid program, even for those injured by a subversive federal trade agreement, is unconstitutional. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Trade Adjustment Assistance had strong liberal support.

We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)

Bill Summary: H.R. 1295, which had originally been introduced as a measure to amend the IRS code, was amended in the Senate (the day before) on voice vote to address trade issues, including, most significantly, an extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance.This amended H.R. 1295, passed here by the House and sent to the president, consisted of several titles, including:

  • TITLE I–EXTENSION OF AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT
  • TITLE II–EXTENSION OF GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES
  • TITLE III–EXTENSION OF PREFERENTIAL DUTY TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR HAITI
  • TITLE IV–EXTENSION OF TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE
  • TITLE V–IMPROVEMENTS TO ANTIDUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING DUTY LAWS

Background:  Trade Adjustment Assistance was established during the Kennedy administration as the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.   Kennedy argued: “When considerations of national policy make it desirable to avoid higher tariffs, those injured by that competition should not be required to bear the full brunt of the impact. Rather, the burden of economic adjustment should be borne in part by the Federal Government.”

The current program is designed to provide relief in four areas impacted by trade agreements: workers, firms, farmers, and communities.

Analysis: Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) has strong support among Democratic liberals. However, on June 12, many House liberals combined with conservatives to sink TAA when it was tied to Trade Promotion Authority.   The liberal strategy was to vote against TAA as a way to block giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, opposed by major unions.

It should have been no surprise that the strategy failed to block TPA for a trade pact of major importance to the Internationalist agenda. House leaders quickly brought up TPA again (see House Roll Call 374, 6-18-15) when it was not tied directly to TAA, and it passed both the House and Senate. However, to get support for that vote, GOP leaders assured liberals that TAA would also get another chance and support (hence this Roll Call):

“‘We are committed to ensuring both … get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the president for signature,’ House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a joint statement issued Wednesday in an attempt to reassure pro-trade Democrats whose votes will be needed.” [Emphasis added.] — “Bipartisan rescue bid for Obama’s trade agenda,” AP (6-18-15)

Compromise for What?

Of course, Federal welfare, and so TAA, is unconstitutional. However, it would be one thing to agree to a temporary extension of TAA, if liberal support (for TPA) were necessary to reduce major constitutional intrusions elsewhere permanently or to truly benefit America.   However, the trade pact is far worse than TAA. Its proclaimed benefit is a tragic deception.

As explained in detail in our analysis of House Roll Call 374, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is part of a deceptive Internationalist power grab that would make our nation increasingly subordinate to a system of regional trade blocs.

The strategy has been to portray these pacts as “free trade,” which conservatives would support. In fact, they are designed to undermine the independence of nations and evolve into Internationalist-controlled political unions, following the pattern in Europe, as steppingstones to world government. This hidden objective has nothing to do with removing trade barriers.

Consider, for example, NAFTA. The NAFTA treaty, combined with side agreements, set up more than 30 new international committees to decide issues previously the responsibility of the individual national legislatures.

Following an earlier successful vote in the Senate on Trade Promotion Authority, Washington’s Roll Call (5-14-15) stated that Senator Ron “Wyden, the lead Democratic negotiator on the bill and the ranking member of the Finance Committee, said [the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal] would improve enforcement of worker protections and environmental protections across the globe, including upgrading enforcement in existing trade pacts like NAFTA.” [Emphasis added.]