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EXCLUSIVE — Rep. Ken Buck on TAA Funding: ‘It’s A Tax’

June 15, 2015
In The News
In an exclusive interview, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) stood up against tax penalties for small businesses in Colorado and across the nation. He tells Breitbart News he thinks any fine or penalty paid to the Internal Revenue Service should be considered a tax.

His statement comes after Breitbart News reported on the way the controversial Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is now being funded, using a tax hike on small businesses instead of Medicare cuts, as the Senate had proposed. Buck tells Breitbart News:

I think anytime the government requires people to send money, it’s a tax and I certainly recognize Grover Norquist’s position on this, but you can use fines and fees and other words to define something, but when you’re trying to get people to give more money to the government it seems to be something that it is something that’s going to hurt small businesses and ultimately I think it will be part of the reason why it’s going to be will unpopular and even more unpopular when people find out what exactly the mechanism is for paying for this.

The House must pass TAA on Tuesday in order to enact Trade Promotion Authority TPA – which would grant President Obama fast-track trade authority so he can finalize his trade agreements without Congress issuing any amendments to his final deal, only getting a final up or down vote.

Rep. Buck also hinted that he thinks the TAA may have a hard time getting enough votes to pass on Tuesday after it overwhelmingly failed to pass Friday afternoon.

“I know that some people went down and changed their vote at the last minute when they saw – Republicans – when they saw the TAA was not going to pass because I’d assume because it was key voted by – it think TAA was key voted by Club and TPA was key voted by Heritage, so I imagine it will pick up some votes right there – that was probably about ten votes, but in terms of a larger number nobody has called me and asked me to change my vote,” he explained.

Buck added, “I think they’re going to have a hard time finding the votes for TAA, but I was surprised the TPA passed so I’m not a great person at guessing what the Democrats are going to do.”

He’s been in his district over the weekend and said most constituents oppose TPA and TAA.

“We’ve gotten a lot of calls most of them opposed to the TPA and TAA and that’s the same feed back I’m getting in the district is that most of the folks are opposed.”

He did add that most of the ag business favor those two – TAA and TPA. He indicated that industry groups are in favor of the TAA and TPA, but when he talks with a lot to the individual members of the groups, they are not in favor.

Buck also addressed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s position on one of President Obama’s trade agreement – the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Clinton recently sided with House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in opposing of granting President Barack Obama fast track trade authority through TPA to finalize his negotiations.

“I’m sure that Hillary Clinton took a poll and sees Bernie Sanders to her left and she’s trying to move over to protect her left flank and I think that what she’s doing on this trade deal is disingenuous,” Buck said. “She was obviously in favor of TPP when she was Secretary of State and was supportive of the president and now that she is running for office she is trying to change her tune.”

Buck hinted that the way TAA is now being funded using the tax hike instead of the revenue from Medicare cuts would require the bill to go to conference as he says the funding is a material change and that if it were to pass, the bill may need to go to conference between the House and Senate since it isn’t parallel with the bill from the Senate.