The self-inflicted kill-shot for the much-maligned fast tracking bill, TPA, which would almost certainly mean approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, may have come during testimony by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) this week.
After being revived and passed at the 11th hour by Senate Republicans, the House has been debating the prospect of giving the president extraordinary authority to propose trade deals which would limit Congress to an up or down vote.
The ‘strange-bedfellows’ nature of the deal continues in which Republican proponents, for whom Ryan has served as the point man, continue to push back against Democrats in the minority. These Democrats argue that their own president is pushing a deal that is not in the best interest of Democratic constituencies.
During his committee testimony on Wednesday, Ryan committed an error to the public record when, during an argumentative exchange with Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), he retorted, “It’s declassified and made public once it’s agreed to.”
The comment was sparked by criticism from Burgess. Even members of Congress have had a difficult time getting clearance to read the actual text of the bill ahead of a vote later this month
Harkening back to Nancy Pelosi’s lampooned “we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it” quip during the debates over Obamacare, Ryan has ignited a firestorm of conservative criticism of the bill. This week, it was revealed that the bill contains fundamental changes to immigration law. Opponents argue that the changes could be used as mechanisms for de facto amnesty.