Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh weighed in on the back-and-forth debate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. The controversial deal has pitted President Barack Obama against his own party, and has now apparently split Limbaugh from Republicans in Congress.
On May 22, the U.S. Senate voted 62-37 to fast-track Obama's TPP trade deal, which means that the deal's approval process will be streamlined. With Obama having fast-track authority, Congress will not be able to filibuster or Amend the future trade deal. Now that this measure has passed the Senate, it will head to the House for a vote.
Those in favor of the trade deal believe it will create more jobs in America, increase the wealth of the global economy by allowing more trading to occur to foreign countries, and place harsher penalties on nations that break financial international law, specifically by manipulating their currency to their advantage, the New York Times reported.
Democrats, however, argue that the trade deal will only exacerbate America's wealth gap and allow foreign corporations to undermine and attack U.S. regulations.
Limbaugh’s opinion was oddly in line with Senate Democrats, as both parties believe the trade deal will not benefit the United States, but for different reasons.
Speaking about the issue on his radio show on May 22, Limbaugh explained his concern with the legislation and his disappointment in Republicans who are supporting it.
“Republicans are providing the necessary push to get it passed, which kind of bothers me," Limbaugh said. "Since it’s an Obama deal, the odds are it isn’t good. Since it’s an Obama deal, the odds are the United States is gonna take it in the shorts, as we have on so much of the Obama agenda, both domestic and foreign policy.
“Why in the world, when Obama’s trade deal is flittering away by the wayside because his own party doesn’t want it -- a trade deal that should not be authorized because nobody has seen it -- do all of a sudden Republicans come along to bail it out and essentially make it possible?” Limbaugh asked his listeners.
In a show of bipartisanship, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, and Obama have both publicly supported the trade deal, with the majority of Republicans in both chambers of Congress also voting in favor of it. In the President’s case, his support has been more scrutinized, particularly for his back-and-forth banter with Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Harry Reid of Nevada.
“You know, the truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is a politician like everybody else, and she’s got a voice that she wants to get out there. I understand that, and on most issues, she and I deeply agree. On this one, though, her arguments don’t stand the test of fact and scrutiny,” the President said in an interview with Yahoo! News about the liberal Senator’s views on the trade deal on May 12.
“I actually think some of my dearest friends are wrong. They’re just wrong,” he later added in a speech at Nike headquarters.
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