"The federal government has no business being partner to this outrageous plan..."
by John Pape
Even as leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico opened their Security and Prosperity Partnership summit in New Orleans yesterday, local congressman Ron Paul (R-Lake Jackson) vowed to continue his fight against expanding the free trade alliance between the three countries and the Trans-Texas Corridor and NAFTA “Super Highway.”
President George W. Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper began a two-day North American Leaders’ Summit in New Orleans yesterday. The meeting involves discussions among the three leaders on border security, as well as trade relations between the nations touted as having a $1 trillion economic impact.
Paul, whose district includes part of Fort Bend County, used the opportunity to re-state his opposition to plans to build a NAFTA “Super Highway” to link the three nations. The controversial Trans-Texas Corridor is expected to be a major link in that highway.
Paul noted that he was as a co-sponsor of a resolution opposing the project.
“As we all know, there have been significant moves recently to expand the Security and Prosperity Partnership initiated by President Bush and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in 2005. One such plan is to construct a so-called “NAFTA Superhighway” running from Mexico, through Texas, and up eventually into Canada,” Paul said. “I have opposed this project from the beginning, signing on as a co-sponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 40 expressing Congressional disapproval of the NAFTA Superhighway and any moves toward a North American Union.”
Paul went on to say that he has introduced additional legislation aimed at prohibiting the use of federal funds for the highway.
“More recently, I introduced an even stronger piece of legislation, H.R.5191, which would prohibit the use of federal funds to carry out this highway project. The federal government has no business being partner to this outrageous plan, according to which countless landowners would have their private property confiscated under eminent domain,” Paul said. “This prohibition of funds, if passed, would go a long way toward derailing this ill-conceived project and would send a clear message that further attempts to undermine U.S. sovereignty would not be unchallenged in Congress. It is long past time the United States House and Senate start taking our constitutional oversight roles seriously.”
In meetings throughout the state, including Fort Bend and surrounding counties, Texas Department of Transportation officials have seen vocal opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor plan. Relatively few speakers voiced any degree of support for the plan.
Extensive interest in the proposal led TxDOT to extend the period of public comment. The comment period was initially slated to close March 19, but a 30-day extension allowed for additional comment through last Friday.
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