The Senate narrowly agreed Tuesday to salvage President Barack Obama’s trade agenda, after several Democrats sided with GOP leaders to break a filibuster on standalone fast-track trade legislation.
The vote to advance the bill clears the way for Trade Promotion Authority legislation to become law by the end of the week. The House has already cleared the legislation and final passage is expected in the Senate by Wednesday.
The tight vote came as Democrats wavered on whether to trust Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to follow through on a joint pledge to shepherd into law both the fast-track bill, dubbed Trade Promotion Authority, and a measure to help laid-off workers known as Trade Adjustment Assistance. TPA will allow Obama to complete the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, but Democrats have long insisted that it be accompanied by TAA, which provides aid and job training for workers who lose their jobs to trade.
Read more: Senate salvages Obama trade agenda - Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim - POLITICO
Well. It looks like once again we will shoot ourselves in the foot. The final passage is expected on Wednesday by the Senate, then it will be off to Obama to be signed into law.