Lee votes to block wasteful trade adjustment assistance program

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mike Lee issued the following statement Thursday regarding his vote not to invoke cloture on the Hatch Substitute Amendment No. 1221 to H.R. 1314, the legislative vehicle for the Trade Promotion Authority bill.

I am a big believer in free trade, but I have been very clear from the beginning of this debate that I could not vote for Trade Promotion Authority if the wasteful and ineffectual Trade Adjustment Assistance program was attached.

TAA was originally meant to help American manufacturing workers whose jobs were lost directly due to free trade agreements. However, Congress has allowed the program to expand into other sectors and loosened its eligibility requirements, resulting in a wasteful program spending billions of dollars that does not lead to increased employment or higher wages for displaced workers.

While I would love to vote for TPA, I cannot in good conscious make that vote if it also means needlessly expanding the size and scope of the federal government, which is exactly what this TAA program does. I hope to have the chance to give my full and unreserved support to the TPA, as a stand-alone bill, in the near future.

Submitted by the Offices of Sen. Mike Lee

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