On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved a measure to allow for consideration of ObamaTrade any time through July 30.
The measure, included in the procedural rule for the 2016 intelligence authorization bill, provides additional time for consideration of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act which was voted down last week.
The measure easily passed on a vote of 236-189. Six Republicans again bucked leadership by voting against the rule: Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Bill Posey (R-FL), and Walter Jones (R-NC)
TAA passage is currently necessary to get Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)— which would grant Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership — to the president’s desk.
Conservatives opposed to ObamaTrade had urged members to vote down the rule as a way to help scuttle the ObamaTrade effort.
“Americans for Limited Government urges the House to reject any extension of consideration of the trade bill. The leadership has had every advantage and still cannot win. It’s time to put an end to this debate and move on to things that unite Republicans in the House,” ALG president Rick Manning said earlier in the day.
House Democrats also slammed the rule on the House floor before the vote, pointing out that the House already rejected the TAA on a 3-1 vote. They noted that the rule would allow for a re-vote on the TAA at any time.
Earlier Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner took on House Republicans who do not vote with their party on procedural votes.
“I’m not very happy about it,” Boehner said of such defections, according to Politico. “And I made it pretty clear to the members today I was not very happy. We’re a team and we’ve worked hard to get the majority, we’ve worked hard to stay in the majority and I expect our team to act like a team. And I, frankly, made it pretty clear I wasn’t very happy.”
Last week, a group of Republicans voted against the a procedural motion dictating the initial parameters of debate on Obamatrade. The dissenting vote has already seen those Republicans who sided with the dissenters lose leadership positions.
With House Republican leadership engaged in an unusual alliance with President Obama to get TPA over the finish lineand with the effort in limbo pending approval of the TAA, House leaders are also weighing other possible avenues forward including, according to Politico, a stand alone TPA vote.