The Senate plans to debate legislation that would give President Obama fast track authority over trade negotiation “very soon,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tells reporters.
“It’s been almost an out of body experience but we’ve been working closely with the White House,” McConnell said. “We’re working together to try to get it across the finish line.”
According to Bloomberg Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic Leader, opposes the trade authority and wants Republicans to first address legislation to modify U.S. surveillance and extend the funding for federal highways.
Obama has said completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership to get him fast-track trade authority is a top goal during his second term.
House Speaker John Boehner said Obama must win over Democrat support. However, McConnell said that is already happening.
“At the risk of having some of you literally faint, I want to compliment the president for the way he’s handling the trade issue,” said McConnell.
McConnell won’t consider Reid’s proposal, saying the Senate agenda is “the responsibility of the majority, and we’ll be going to do trade promotion authority next.”