Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown continue to go directly after President Obama over fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and they let fly again over the weekend calling on the president to immediately declassify all terms being negotiated for the deal.
Obama equated that argument to the “death panels” floated during the ObamaCare debate, as a claim so far-fetched as not to be taken seriously, adding that members of Congress have been frequently briefed on the talks.
“Someone coming up with a slogan like ‘death panels’ doesn’t mean it’s true,” he said Thursday. “The same thing is true on this. Look at the facts, don’t just throw a bunch of stuff out there.”
In response to those claims, Warren and Brown told Obama to release the text of the negotiations to the public. While members of Congress can review documents, it is illegal to release them to the public or discuss specifics.
And if, as Obama says, the trade deal is his best effort to carve out good terms for the working class, they argued there is no reason not to let the public review it before it is finalized.
“The American people should be allowed to see for themselves whether it’s a good deal for them,” they wrote.
“Characterizing the assessments of labor unions, journalists, members of Congress and others who disagree with your approach to transparency on trade issues as ‘dishonest’ is both untrue and unlikely to serve the best interests of the American people,” they added.
Brown at least has re-election to try an win in 2016 in Ohio. But Warren is safe and in a safe seat. Going this hard after President Obama didn't exactly work in 2014, so I'm wondering what Warren's game is. Cover for Hillary? Playing the foil to help the President? I'm not sure.
But the argument that negotiation terms need to be disclosed while the negotiations are still ongoing is ridiculous. That is Warren and Brown scoring cheap points, and they know it. If you're going to argue that the deal is bad, but can't tell us as to why, then have a seat.