House passes ‘fast track’ trade bill

Last week, House Democrats voted down TAA, a program they historically support, in a concerted strategy to derail fast track. The two bills’ fates were linked to each other because they passed as one piece of legislation in the Senate last month.


House Republicans will send the fast track bill back to the Senate, where supporters hope they can muster the 60 votes necessary to pass it as a stand-alone measure.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., late Thursday said the Senate would vote early next week on fast track and then trade adjustment assistance. “Assuming everyone has a little faith and votes the same way they just did a few weeks ago, we’ll be able to get all of these bills to the president soon,” he said.


The White House is eager to enact TPA because it provides an expedited process to get trade bills through Congress, allowing them only to be approved or rejected, not amended. Obama has made trade a significant focus of his foreign policy legacy in his final months in office.


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