Congressman: ‘I’m just not willing to grant him that authority’
A freshman congressman is staunchly opposing legislation to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority because he fears Obama will end up weakening national security through a bad deal.
Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., says the last thing the Republican Congress should do is give Obama more power during his final 19 months in office.
“Do we really want, with the last months of this president, and him wanting to establish a legacy, to run in haste into some Asian construct that could put us in a very dangerous future situation?” asked Russell. “I’m just not willing to grant him that authority.
Russell gained notoriety for leading the U.S. Army unit that captured Saddam Hussein near Tikrit in 2003. He said Obama’s performance in Iraq and many other places over the past six-and-a-half years convinces him that the last thing Obama needs is more power.
“For example: Syria, the red line, picking the wrong side to arm that turns into ISIS and then calling ISIS a jayvee team only to realize it’s a serious situation we still don’t have a strategy for,” Russell said. “Iraq, that would work on its own if we pulled out. Then we also see the problems of the Arab Spring that’s turned into nuclear winter, the issues with Crimea and Ukraine. I can go on and on.”
The debate is triggering some strange political bedfellows, with union-backing liberals teaming with Obama-distrusting conservatives and protectionists from both parties in fighting against Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, and the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
Russell said he’s coming at this issue from a unique perspective in trying to protect national security.
“Maybe they’ve got concerns about secrecy or sovereignty or whatever and all of those issues are important. On the progressive side, they’re worried about labor and wages and manufacturing trade unions. I don’t come at this issue from any of that,” he said.
Written by GREG COROMBOS
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