U.S. Senate approves Trade Promotion Authority (62-37) on Fri, May 22

A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for TPA late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight in the House, where it faces more entrenched opposition from Democrats.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that the TPA bill will come up at some point in June, after his chamber returns from a 10-day break that began Thursday.

The Senate coalition fought off several attempts by opponents to undermine the legislation, defeating amendments that were politically popular but potentially poisonous to Obama’s bid to secure the trade deal.

mitch-mcconnell-john-boehnerAn extension to a program called Trade Adjustment Assistance that provides income support and training to workers displaced by international trade was added to the trade package as a sweetener for Democrats, but that was not enough for most of them. Led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, among others, most Democrats argued the trade deals would hurt American workers.

On the final roll call, five Republicans joined 32 Democrats in opposing TPA — an odd collection that ranged from Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and his top two lieutenants to staunch conservatives such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). “Congress is forgetting its duty: to improve jobs and wages for Americans,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), one of the most conservative senators, said in a statement

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that the TPA bill will come up at some point in June, after his chamber returns from a 10-day break that began Thursday.

“The House will take up this measure, and Republicans will do our part, but ultimately success will require Democrats putting politics aside and doing what’s best for the country,” Boehner said. “Let’s seize this opportunity to open new doors for the things Americans make and the people who make them.”

A deal to vote in June on extending the charter of the Export-Import Bank helped pave the way for passage of the measure, as well as a months-long, intensive effort by the president on what has been his top economic priority and one of the last big legacy items of his presidency and one that exposed a deep rift within his party.

Read more …

Senate passes trade promotion authority, Roll Call, May 22, 2015

Washington Post, May 22, 2015

Majority Leader McConnell delivers on commitment to pass TPA before Memorial Day

Posted: May 24, 2015

 

 

 

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