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Thorner: The Perils of Congressional Bipartisanship



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By Nancy Thorner –

Bipartisanship in Congress can be a good thing when and if it can happen in a nation that is so divided.  Bipartisanship certainly sounds ideal. There are many Americans who desire bipartisanship and complain when Democrats and Republican don't work together.

In December of this year bipartisanship occurred twice, but both attempts produced results that were less than stellar.

Bipartisanship occurred on Friday, December 20, 2019 when President Trump signed two spending packages totaling $1.4 trillion to avert a government shutdown at midnight. The $1.4 spending measure represents a difficult month-long battle by Democrats and Republicans over spending priorities.

Notably, the Pentagon would get $738 billion for military activities – $22 billion more than last year. Spending for so-called “discretionary” programs was up from $1.36 trillion last year to $1.4 trillion, separate from “mandatory” programs like Social Security retirement benefits which are automatically funded.

With government spending $984 billion more than it took in during the last fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is projecting annual budget deficits averaging $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

Our rapidly rising U.S. national debt now stands at $23.1 trillion, a level that some experts fear could eventually hobble the economy, yet neither party seems to care about our expanding national debt.  Republicans push for more defense spending, while Democrats demand more for domestic spending in turn for granting Republicans more defense spending, vice versa. Notwithstanding, both Republican and Democrats legislators make sure their pet "pork" projects are funded to brag about to their home districts.

Read here to view how the $1.4 trillion government-wide spending package, some 2,313 pages long, is crammed full of an unusually large load of unrelated provisions (pork) as legislators catch a ride on the last train out of Congress this year.

There was also bipartisanship practiced in the USMCA trade deal. It passed the U.S. House the day after Trump's impeachment notice by the House on December 19, 2019 by a vote of 385 Yeas to 41 Nays and was treated as a major accomplishment by the Trump administration. If passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law, this 239-page bill would both approve and implement the now 2,410-page United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is intended to replace the original 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Thorner's previous article about USMCA,  Is the USMCA American's European Union? was published at IL Review on Friday, December 6, 2019. It was critical of the treaty in regard to this nation's sovereignty.  It further questioned Trump's knowledge of what was contained in the treaty and the possibility that Trump was being spoon fed an incorrect bill of goods by his trade negotiators.   
In that Nancy Pelosi decided to rally behind the revised USMCA to pass the trade deal on December 19, 2029, after Democrats had secured enough concessions on labor standards, pharmaceuticals and the environment, should have hoisted a red flag and given Trump all he needed to investigate further. 
Also of note is that while Nancy Pelosi held a press conference with House Democrats on October 10, 2019, to announce how the new changes made to USMCA cleared a path for the Democrats to support the trade scheme, simultaneously the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Mexico’s Deputy Foreign Minister Jesús Seade Kuri held aceremony in Mexico City, to sign the Protocol of Amendment to the USMCA – a 27-page document of all the changes agreed to by Nancy Pelosi and her House Democrats. 
Chrystia Freeland, who served as principle negotiator for Canada enthusiastically described the USMCA as a “progressive trade agreement.” Even prior to the changes added by House Democrats, Freeland had described the integration scheme as a “very progressive agreement.”
CFR involvement in negotiation
In that Trump's Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was a Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) member speaks volumes and gives credence to Freeland's statement pegging USMCA as a "very progressive agreement."
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) supports globalism and one-world government and has welded a very large amount of power in U.S. and international politics. Some of its conservative critics have described it as "the most visible manifestation of" the establishment .  Advisors H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, both with CFR ties, worked to undermine Trump's America First policies.  It was Robert Lighthizer who led the USMCA trade negotiations with Mexico and Canada and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to craft the revised USMCA.
Egregious issues found in USMCA
This article by Christian Gomez in The New American, What's Really in the USMCA? (Updated), was updated on December 19, 2019, to reflect the House vote for USMCA and the recent changes that were made to the treaty. 
There should be great concern over the enforcement of the “very progressive” elements in USMCA.  Below are some of the most egregious issues contained in the USMCA as noted in Christian Gomez's article. There is no way to comprehend what USMCA is all about unless each bold titled heading is thoroughly read in the article itself.  The explanation given just presents an inking into the egregious issues.
Economic Integration – Seeks to merge the economies of North America into one, akin to a North American Union, much like the European Union.
Environment: Where in the original 1994 NAFTA did not contain a chapter on the environment, USMCA in Chapter 24 promotes the United Nation’s concept of “sustainable development,” the cornerstone of the UN’s Agenda 21/Agenda 2030 program to address the purported problem of anthropogenic climate change. USMCA must then logically follow the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are promoted by U.N. and all its affiliated agencies.
Article 24.15 of USMCA clearly states that “The Parties recognize the importance of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, as well as the ecosystem services it provides, and their key role in achieving sustainable development.
Energy Integration:  Although the USMCA does not contain a chapter specifically about energy, the type of energy integration noted in aside letter covering energy written by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, would lead to the creation of a new regional regulatory energy body or authority, a kind of North American department or ministry of energy, which would supersede the U.S. Department of Energy, Canada’s Department of Natural Resources, and Mexico’s Secretaría de Energía (Secretariat of Energy)
Migrant Workers: Opens the door for a Mexican, a Canadian, or even a U.S.-based company to sue the U.S. government for restricting the number of employees that such a company would want to bring across the border into the United States and could thus serve as a beachhead for a cross-border migration invasion similar to that experienced in the European Union.
“Gender Identity”:  If a man applies for a job and goes to the interview dressed as a woman with a demand to be addressed as if he were a lady and demonstrates even the mildest aptitude to do the job, the employer would be required to hire that individual or risk a lawsuit. This alone should be a deal breaker for Christians.
Collective Bargaining: The USMCA may force Congress to pass national “collective bargaining” legislation, circumventing state “right to work” laws. Under the USMCA’s Chapter 23, Congress may also be forced to do same with labor laws. 
Regional Government: The erosion of U.S. sovereignty is most apparent in Chapter 30 of the USMCA entitled “Administrative and Institutional Provisions,” which establishes the creation of a “Free Trade Commission”. Giving powers accorded by Article 30.2 to the Free Trade Commission makes the USMCA a “living agreement,” much like the TPP, thus allowing the Free Trade Commission to make future changes to the agreement without the approval of Congress.
International Law and Treaties:  Not only does the USMCA subordinate the U.S. to an EU-style regional commission, it also subordinates the United States to international law.  According to the chapter’s Article 24.18, under “Sustainable Fisheries Management,” the United States, Mexico, and Canada are required to base their fishing management practices in accordance with the Law of the Sea Treaty. In the name of protecting fishes and other marine life, the United States would have to surrender its sovereignty over all of its waterways and miles of coastal oceans (including everything under, on, in, and above them) over to the jurisdiction of UN international law.  
Here is the USMCA Issues Index  (Revised 12/14/2019) to easily find where in the trade agreement — with specific chapters and page numbers, annex pages, and side letters — to find all the aforementioned progressive issues found in USNCA and to show others where to find them in the agreement.
Additional thoughts
As  J.W. Bryan writes in his article The Unseen Angers of the USMCA Trade Deal on December 14th, 2019:
"If Trump knows of the existence of the CFR, it’s very possible that he views it much the same as Reagan did. When asked about why he had so many CFR people in his administration he said something like this, “Well I don’t see any harm in people getting together to discuss international issues and problems.” This raises the question as to whether he was naïve or was simply dodging the question."
The CFR’s hands are all over the USMCA trade agreement. There is no doubt that CFR membership could, and probably has discussed what they’d like to have included in the texts of the agreement.  I’m sure the CFR desires are included in the USMCA; Mr. Lighthizer has seen to that. If it is ratified it will give more impetus to the advancement of UN Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development."
Not much can be done about the uncontrolled spending by both Republicans and Democrats, but if you believe that the issues described and indexed above are indeed part of an “America first” agenda that will “Make America Great Again” or “Keep America Great,” as President Trump has pledged, then the USMCA is right for you. If you disagree, then this article and index should serve as a warning of what’s to come in event that the U.S. Senate passes H.R. 5430, to approve and implement the USMCA in 2020.  
Additional article for reference
USMCA is tinted by special interest side deals by Tim Worstall, a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is a senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute. You can read all his pieces at the Continental Telegraph , December 19. 2019.


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    Agenda 21 was a non-binding suggestion that the United Nations recommended to all its member nations in 1992. Under the United States Constitution, both the President and the Senate must consent to a proposed international treaty or convention before it becomes law in the United States. While the President symbolically signed Agenda 21, the Senate withheld its consent to Agenda 21.
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