U.S. House of Representatives Nov 13 vote fails to pass PNTR bill

More than half of Democrats voted NAY, while two-thirds of Republicans voted YEA.

The Nov 13 House of Representatives vote on PNTR was under a special “suspension of the rules” for non-controversial legislation, so it required a two-thirds majority (290 of 435 representatives). However, 228 voted for, 161 against, so it failed.

The House will vote again under regular procedures in December, so it should pass. 228 is 10 more than the required 218 “simple majority” vote.

Some interesting facts:

Last time there was a Vietnam NTR vote (on the waiver of the “Jackson-Vanik Amendment”), there were 64 Republican “NAY” votes; and 66 “NAY” votes this time.

Last time there were 27 Democratic “NAY” votes; this time, 94 “NAY” votes. However, Democrats voting “YEA” this time included party leaders such as Pelosi, Hoyer, Rangel, Levin, Emanuel, and 33 of 47 “New Democrats” voting in favor.

Roll Call Vote Results H.R. 5602 2/3 YEA-AND-NAY 13-Nov-2006


Source: Final Vote Results for Roll Call Vote 519

In the Senate side there are the following challenges.

Senators Dole/Graham, on behalf of constituents in the US domestic textile industry. This hold was removed after the Sep 28 Letter from USTR Schwab/Commerce Secretary Gutierrez to Senators Dole and Graham. Click here for a summary and copy of the Sep 28 Letter to Senators Dole and Graham.

Senator Martinez’s “hold.” This may be removed after the following report. Vietnam deports U.S. woman. Also, Vietnam was removed from the U.S. State Department list of countries that seriously violate religious freedoms: U.S. drops Vietnam from religious intolerance list

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Gordon Smith Nov 3 Letter to USTR Schwab and Commerce Secretary Gutierrez, representing constituents in the importer/retailer community. The letter implies that they will put a “HOLD” on the PNTR bill in the Senate and asks:

  • that no precedent be set by the Sep 28 Letter from USTR Schwab and Commerce Secretary Gutierrez to Senators Dole and Graham; (especially with respect to China)
  • the proposed program not establish any additional requirements or altered standards for importers or exporters of Vietnamese textiles and apparel;
  • U.S. officials work closely with U.S. textiles and apparel importers so that they have the opportunity to provide input and to review and comment on key aspects of the process as it is being developed; and
  • a response to the foregoing concerns BEFORE the Senate vote on Vietnam PNTR. Note that Senator Gordon H. Smith is a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the PNTR bill, S.3495

Read more …

Washington Post: VN PNTR Bill fails House Vote

New York Times: A Setback for Vietnam Trade Bill

Update and Background on WTO Accession and PNTR Legislation.