Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), while a guest last week on the Laura Ingraham Show, criticized United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for supporting giving President Barack Obama “fast track” authority for potential international agreements including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Jones says giving fast track authority — sometimes called trade promotion authority — to the president is “absolutely a threat on our Constitution, on our sovereignty.”
Noting that McConnell and Boehner are regularly complaining about Obama’s actions, Jones asks if the two congressional leaders have “lost their minds” in seeking to hand over to Obama more power that the Constitution says belongs in the legislative branch of government. Jones, a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, explains:
When you allow a president to have the authority to bring before Congress the issue but not allow Congress to debate, to amend, or to change the agreement, then that in itself is not what the Constitution intended for this country….
All you’re doing is giving away our constitutional responsibilities. And for me it is just laughable, to be honest with you, Laura, that McConnell and Boehner who constantly complain … about President Obama, they want to give him this authority. Have they lost their minds?
Listen to the complete interview here.
In his analysis Jones comments that Ron Paul, one of Jones’ “dearest friends” from Congress, makes the case in Paul’s 2011 book Liberty Defined for Congress not handing over such authority to any president.
McConnell and Boehner’s desire to cede Congress’ constitutional authority to Obama, of course, extends to the war issue as well. While the war power resides in the legislative branch, these legislative leaders have failed through several months of the ISIS War to hold any floor debate or vote regarding a termination of the war, a declaration of war, or even an authorization for use of military force (AUMF).
Paul, who now serves as the chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, explained in a CNN interview with Lou Dobbs during the 2008 presidential campaign why Paul opposes transferring to a president either fast track authority or the authority to declare war. Says Paul:
I do not believe that the Congress should ever have the authority to pass this authority to the president on things like “fast track” and then the president devises agreements that serve the interests of the special interests. So I am positively opposed to this transfer of power just as I am opposed to the Congress transferring power to the president to declare war.
Watch Paul’s complete interview here: