More White House demagoguery, or is it just plain ineptitude?
Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/09/05
President Barack Hussein Obama has been criticizing congressional Republicans for not taking action on free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Sounds like the President has a legitimate complaint . . . until you note that he hasn’t sent them to the Congress yet!
Published: August 25, 2011
WASHINGTON — Even with almost zero common ground between them, President Obama and Republicans in Congress generally concur on the need for free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. But they disagree on whose fault it is that those agreements — years in the making — have still not been approved.
For weeks, President Obama has derided Congress for failing to pass the agreements, as well as a measure that would provide money to assist workers displaced by foreign competition. “The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party,” he said at a recent news conference.
Senior Republicans in Congress have howled in protest, pointing out that the agreements have not left the president’s desk to journey to the Hill for a vote.
“We have made abundantly clear publicly and privately that the House is prepared to vote on all three trade agreements,” said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, adding that the same goes for the bill to provide money to assist workers. “The only thing holding us up is the fact those trade bills are still sitting on the president’s desk.”
Hat tip to Chuck Serio.
The Speaker’s office has stated that the House is ready to take action on the agreements, which may or may not be true; it’s always possible that, once the agreements are sent to the Congress, they’ll simply get ignored. But President Obama has total control over whether he ever sends the agreements to the Congress for consideration, and that he has not done, something of which his deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest, was unaware.
Who knows, maybe the President is withholding the agreements to find a more auspicious time to send them over, or it could be that he thought they were sent over, but he and his administration are so inept that they just never got it done. Quite frankly, the second option seems just as probable as the first for this failed Presidency.
Cross posted on Common Sense Political Thought
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