House Republican leadership is conveying confidence about the prospects of passing a top trade priority for President Obama.
“Trade votes are never an easy lift around here but Republicans are continuing to work and we’re seeing some positive momentum in the right direction,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters Wednesday morning, following the House GOP Conference’s weekly closed door meeting.
“But frankly it’s time for both parties to get engaged in this to try to make sure it’s passed to so that we can continue to expand our economy, expand incomes in our country,” Boehner added.
House Leadership has posted the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) language, which would provide President Obama “fast track” authority to negotiate trade bills — notably the Trans-Pacific Partnership — which would allow for a vote before the end of the week.
“As you saw we have posted legislation dealing with TPA, it gives us the flexibility to be able to bring it up the floor at the appropriate time. We’re working with both sides to get this done and as soon as we have the votes we’ll be moving the bill,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) added to reporters.
Reports indicate that House Republicans are pushing for a Friday vote.
Boehner further confirmed Wednesday that he worked with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to come to an agreement on how to deal with Medicare offsets in the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill.
“If we fix the problem, the offset in the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill and we do it in the first vote — which would be the preference bill, we believe — that solves the problem. Now, if people are looking for an excuse to vote ‘no’, I guess they can always find an excuse to vote ‘no’,” Boehner added.