Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Good news for a change

To all in Rob Wittman's  District,
Although to his credit Rob Wittman  did vote against the  Transpacific  Trade  Authority (TPA) , dubbed Fast Track which facilitates the passage of TPP (Trans-Pacific  Partnership), prior to that,  he voted for a procedural vote that could have killed it. 
Thus, although he has said that he would vote against TPP if it should be brought up for a vote which is likely in the Lane Duck Congress, we have felt a little uneasy and wanted it in writing.
Viola !   Now we have it.   In his newsletter below you can see where he says:  
Please know that I am against  the implementation of the TPP.
We are quick to let him know when we are unhappy with his vote or stand on an issue. Now we need to thank him. 
Also, this can help  reinforce his resolve because the pressure to vote for it is tremendous.
or  Phone: (202) 225-4261
Thank you for helping on this most critical issue !
Sue Long
Freedom without authority is anarchy
Authority without freedom is tyranny
This is why we should have a republic

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 1:02 PM
Subject: A message from Congressman Wittman
Click here to visit my website







September 13, 2016






Dear Ms. Long


Thank you for contacting my office to share your concerns regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this issue. I value your views on the important issues facing our Commonwealth and the Nation.


As you may know, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed multinational free trade agreement among 12 nations, and possibly more. The United States, along with 11 other nations- Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam- has begun negotiations to enter the TPP. On October 5, 2015 these countries, including the United States, reached a final deal.


However, the U.S. Constitution assigns express authority over the regulation of foreign trade to Congress. Article I, Section 8, gives Congress the power to "regulate Commerce with foreign Nations…" and to "…lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises…" In contrast, the Constitution assigns no specific responsibility for trade to the President. Under Article II, however, the President has exclusive authority to negotiate treaties and international agreements and exercises broad authority over the conduct of the nation's foreign affairs. If any such agreement requires changes in U.S. law, however, it could only be implemented through legislation enacted by Congress.


On August 12, 2016, President Obama issued a draft statement of administrative action indicating that he is likely to submit legislation for Congressional consideration that would implement TPP. This could be expected any time after the election in November. Please know that I am against the implementation of the TPP.


Since 1974, Congress has enacted Trade Promotion Authority to accompany every free trade agreement. Trade Promotion Authority, also known as "Fast Track", is the authority Congress has granted to the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove. As part of the ongoing TPP discussions, the other 11 countries involved have demanded TPA be a requirement for final approval of TPP.


On April 16, 2015 Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin introduced the bicameral Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) (H.R. 1890/S. 995). The purpose of this legislation is to outline the overall trade negotiating objectives of the United States with respect to any agreement with a foreign country and would subject trade agreements to certain congressional oversight and approval requirements, consultations, and access to information requirements.


The House of Representatives took two votes on TPA. On June 12, 2015, the House of Representatives passed TPA as part of H.R. 1314 by a vote of 219-211, without my support. However, due to the parliamentary procedure used to bring H.R. 1314 to a vote in the House, the vote on H.R. 1314 was split into two separate votes. The first vote was to approve TPA, which I opposed, and the second vote was to approve Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program used to assist those who lose their job as a direct result of trade, which I also opposed. The procedure required that for H.R. 1314 to pass, both parts, consisting of TAA and TPA, had to pass the House. Therefore, TPA failed to advance on June 12 because the vote on TAA did not reach the necessary 218 affirmative votes needed for passage with a final vote of 126-302.


On June 18, 2015 the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 2146, Trade and Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, which separated TPA from TAA. The House passed this legislation by a vote of 218-208, again without my support. On June 24, 2015 the Senate passed TPA by a vote of 60-38 and was signed into law by President Obama on June 29, 2015.


While I support free trade and realize its critical role in our country's economic policy, I could not vote in favor of this TPA. After reading the bill from top to bottom, I had profound concerns with the ambiguities and vagueness over the trade negotiation objectives laid out within the legislation. I believe that within every trade agreement Congress must have the ability to maintain its leveraging authority over its priorities to define a clear strategic objective; this TPA fell woefully short of granting Congress that authority.


Thank you again for sharing your views and opinions with me. I am committed to serving you to the best of my abilities. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me via telephone at (202) 225-4261, through my website (, on Facebook (, or via Twitter (

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG -
Version: 2016.0.7797 / Virus Database: 4656/13008 - Release Date: 09/13/16

          With kind regards, I remain

Rob Wittman
Member of Congress
Yorktown Office
401 Main Street
Yorktown, VA 23690
(757) 874-6687
Fax: (757) 874-7164
Stafford Office
95 Dunn Drive, Ste. 201
Stafford, Virginia 22556
Phone: (540) 659-2734
(540) 659-2737
Tappahannock Office
508 Church Lane
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Phone: (804) 443-0668
(804) 443-0671
Washington D.C. Office
2454 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4261
(202) 225-4382

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