Not Over Yet: Obama Meets Pro-Trade Democrats at The White House

Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, James Clyburn
The Associated Press

President Obama plans to meet pro-trade Democrats at the White House, as he continues to look for a way to push his fast track trade authorities across the finish line.

Shortly after news broke that Speaker Boehner was considering another vote on Trade Adjustment Assistance, a White House official confirmed that Obama would meet some of his Democratic allies on trade.

The meetings will take place just before the Congressional summer picnic this evening at the White House where members of Congress from both parties will spend time with the president. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was invited to the picnic, White House officials confirmed, but it is unclear whether or not she will attend.

The decision to hold another vote comes less than a week after the initial failure in the House as the Trade Adjustment Authority (TAA) vote was voted down 302-126. Only 28 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained to reporters this afternoon that Obama was still committed to getting TAA and TPA passed together in order to move forward on his trade package.

“The only legislative strategy that the President will support is one that brings both TPA and TAA to his desk,” he said.

Obama leaves Thursday for a series of four fundraisers in California, including a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event with environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer. According to reports, Pelosi is expected to attend the event.

When pressed by reporters, Earnest admitted that Pelosi would likely oppose any effort made by Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to get the trade legislation passed.

“She doesn’t want the legislation to advance,” Earnest said, refusing to say whether or not Obama had contacted the House Minority leader to discuss a way forward.