In advance of a key Senate procedural vote on President Obama’s trade agenda, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated Republican leadership’s commitment to the trade package.
“Our goal is to get [Trade Promotion Authority] and [Trade Adjustment Assistance] to the president’s desk this week and deliver this win for the American people,” Boehner said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Last week the House narrowly passed TPA, which would grant Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals such as the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Tuesday, the Senate must clear a 60-vote threshold to advance TPA for a vote on final passage. Both chambers still must hold votes to advance the TAA, which assists displaced workers.
“We remain committed to ensuring that both TPA and TAA are passed and enacted into law,” Boehner said. “The House has passed TPA as a standalone measure. The House will consider TAA once it passes the Senate as part of a new trade preferences bill. And we are ready to go to conference on the customs bill.”
Boehner’s call to have the trade bills on Obama’s desk by the end of the week echoed comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made on the Senate floor Monday.
“It means that, with continued bipartisan cooperation, we can ensure TPA, TAA, and [African Growth and Opportunity Act] reach the President’s desk this week — and it means we can ensure the Customs bill is placed on a path to swift approval too,” McConnell said.
“It was always the goal to ensure these bills passed Congress in the end. It remains the bipartisan goal today. We’re now on the verge of achieving it,” he added.