ObamaThe U.S. House passed President Barack Obama’s fast-track trade bill, one of the president’s top second-term priorities, with mostly Republican votes a week after a Democratic rebellion almost killed the proposal.
The 218-208 House vote Thursday returns the measure to the Senate, which also voted for it last month. Obama wants the expedited trade negotiating authority to help his administration complete a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.
It should be noted that the legislation in question is not a trade agreement. It concerns a process under which a trade agreement would be considered by Congress. In substance, it is similar to a closed rule, as there would be no amendments permitted and it would be subjected to a vote as is. Currently, negotiations remain underway and there is no Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.