Tags: trade | vote | tuesday | fast-track

Senate to Vote on Obama Trade Legislation Tuesday

By    |   Monday, 22 Jun 2015 11:40 PM

President Barack Obama's trade plans, which have hit snags in recent weeks, could see new life this week if lawmakers on Capitol Hill vote in his favor.

According to CNN, the Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on whether to grant Obama fast-track authority. That would give Congress the right to approve a trade bill handed to it, although lawmakers would not be able to alter the bill.

Republicans are generally in favor of Obama's trade agenda and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement being negotiated by a dozen countries lining the Pacific rim.

Democrats generally oppose trade deals over claims they are job killers in the U.S.

According to CNN, Senate Republicans are trying to persuade the 14 Democrats who recently voted in favor of Obama's fast-track powers in a combined piece of legislation that also included services to help workers who have lost their jobs as a direct result of trade agreements. It might be tougher, however, to convince those 14 Democrats to vote for fast-track authority on Tuesday.

CNN reports that at least five of the 14 will most likely vote to give Obama fast-track powers.

"I held round-the-clock discussions with the Senate majority leader, the speaker of the House and leading Democrats over the past week. I plan to support the continued advancement of the trade package tomorrow," Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who co-wrote the fast-track legislation, told CNN.

At least two Democrats in the Senate, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, have tried to link their votes on trad to a promise of renewing the Export-Import Bank before its charter expires June 30, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Should the fast-track legislation gain approval in the Senate, the House will vote on it Friday.


Despite the optimism of some lawmakers, Obama's trade agenda faces an uphill battle. The legislation needs to pick up nearly 100 votes in the House to pass.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is not on the president's side when it comes to his trade agenda, a rare occurrence for the California Democrat.

Hillary Clinton, a Democratic candidate for president, urged Obama to listen to Pelosi on trade and keep the concerns about American workers in his mind. Clinton, however, has not yet made her position clear on the trade deal.

Critics of the TPP question why Obama has been so secretive by not releasing many details about the negotiations.

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President Barack Obama's trade plans, which have hit snags in recent weeks, could see new life this week if lawmakers on Capitol Hill vote in his favor. According to CNN, the Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on whether to grant Obama fast-track authority. That...
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2015-40-22
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 11:40 PM
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