Washington, DC – Yesterday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show, guest-hosted by Brian Calle from the Orange County Register. They discussed the USA FREEDOM Act, how trade is good for our economy, and how Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) gives Congress greater authority in trade deals.
Excerpts of the interview are below and the full interview can be heard here.
Passing of The USA FREEDOM Act:
“Many people would know about FISA [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act]—it’s how the government protects us from terrorism, but at the same time there was concern to protect our civil liberties—that [the government]t had this bulk data where they would have all the phone numbers. Well, The USA FREEDOM Act changed that where no longer could the government have the bulk data. Now the service providers keep it and if you find that a person is an individual that’s a terrorist problem, then you’re able to follow it. The other part that we’re able to do is closing a loophole so that when terrorists first entered the country, a proposed one, there was a 72-hour lapse of whether you could follow them. This closes that loophole to make sure you would be able to. It’s a good bill protecting both sides.”
Trade is good for our economy:
“U.S. trade supports more than 38 million jobs. We know that to get consumption around the world you’ve got to be engaged in the process, but there’s lots of times we’re not able to enter that market. And there becomes a security issue too. How are we to our allies and others? Trade has been such a positive for America and growth in the economy, but we have to have what is called TPA—Trade Promotion Authority—where you can negotiate. And right now there’s a couple trade agreements out there—the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP—and so the Senate has passed TPA. The House is going to be taking that up this month.
“Think about what’s happening in the Pacific realm right now. Are we going to be the leaders there with our allies—Japan and others—expanding trade, or is China going to be the one to do that? There is a real difference here about where we’re able to lead. If you look at those we’ve had trade agreements with, we actually have a surplus in manufacturing with those that we have trade agreements with. Those we don’t, we don’t have one. You know, if the majority of consumption is outside the United States but we’re able to produce—think about where our energy costs are today, think about our ability within trade to manufacture and build here—we could really grow a lot of American jobs through trade.”
TPA gives Congress more oversight on trade deals:
“When President Obama was a senator, he was opposed to TPA. When he became president, he realized what it meant to the entire United States. … Now that the Senate has changed—you’ve got a Republican House and a Republican Senate—now is the time to get this done. And the difference that we made in negotiating a TPA agreement is it gives greater transparency, more accountability, and it has more checks for Congress and the Senate to make sure it’s done properly.”
Republicans in Congress are offering positive solutions despite Presidential obstruction:
“I mean this President is a little different than the others. The others would engage in a process—try to find common ground…. I’ve seen some movement now, and remember, the President is now in a different position that he has a Republican House and a Republican Senate. So we’re able to send stuff to his desk now—that’s different. Now, if we had seen a lot of change, don’t you think he would have signed our bill on Keystone? You know, you’ve got a bipartisan vote in the House and Senate with Democrats joining with us, sending it to the President. But the President vetoed it. So I still think there’s a lot of places he can find common ground with us if he’d listen to things a little differently.”