In an ongoing feud over a trade deal the U.S. is negotiating with Pacific nations, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Saturday criticized President Obama’s recent statements about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
On Friday, Obama criticized Democrats for spreading “misinformation” about the TPP, alluding to Warren, who sent an email to supporters on Wednesday suggesting that the White House does not want the public to see the trade agreement. Obama said that criticizing the deal as “secret” was “dishonest.”
“What I am averse to is a bunch of ad hominem attacks and misinformation that stirs up the base but ultimately doesn’t serve them well. And I’m going to be pushing back very hard if I keep hearing that stuff,” Obama told reporters on Friday.
“The one that gets on my nerves the most is the notion that this is a secret deal,” he continued. “Every single one of the critics saying this is a secret deal, or send out e-mails to their fundraising base that they’re working to stop a secret deal, could walk over and see the text of the agreement.”
In a Saturday letter to Obama, Warren and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hit back at Obama’s Friday comments and called on the President to make the current text of the agreement public, according to the Huffington Post.
“Members of Congress should be able to discuss the agreement with our constituents and to participate in a robust public debate, instead of being muzzled by classification rules,” the senators wrote in the letter, according to the Huffington Post.
Warren and Brown noted that the deal is classified, so while members of Congress can view the deal, the American public cannot. They also said that they are not able to discuss details of the classified deal with the public.
“We respectfully suggest that characterizing the assessments of labor unions, journalists, Members of Congress, and others who disagree with your approach to transparency on trade issues as ‘dishonest’ is both untrue and unlikely to serve the best interests of the American people,” Warren and Brown said in the letter, according to the Huffington Post.