U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that he believes there will be sufficient votes in the chamber to separately pass a "fast track" trade negotiating bill and a worker aid bill.
McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor, said he has started procedural steps to take up the trade promotion authority bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier on Thursday. He also took steps to attach the trade adjustment assistance measure to a bill that extends African trade preferences.
"In the judgment of members of both parties in the House and the Senate, our best way forward now is to consider TPA and TAA separately," McConnell said. "That means TAA will come second after TPA, but the votes will be there to pass it - reluctantly, not happily, but they will be there if it means getting something far more important accomplished for the American people."
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