Obamatrade is alive.
One week after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected Obamatrade by voting against a key provision of it — Trade Adjustment Assistance — GOP establishment lawmakers resuscitated Trade Promotion Authority and rammed it through Thursday afternoon. The final talley was 218-208.
The House action is unusual. As Breitbart News reported: “To engage in the complicated procedural chicanery needed to revive the once-dead Obamatrade, bringing its Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) portion back to life, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) needed to gut a previous bill that has passed the House and Senate and then insert Obamatrade into it. It’s actually a very similar process to how Obamacare passed the House.”
Obamatrade will face more hurdles, though.
Because the Senate passed TAA and TPA together, the individual House version will now have to go back to the Senate for approval, where it may face a filibuster. It’s unclear how many senators would support TPA without TAA, a measure to aid workers who lose their jobs because of trade policy.
The Senate isn’t expected to take up TPA until next week, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has expressed confidence it can pass.
Obamatrade is making for unusual partnerships in Washington. Barack Obama is working with McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner to pass a measure his own party largely rejects.
Last week he traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for his trade measures, but shortly before the House vote on TAA, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced she opposes it. More than 300 representatives ended up voting down TAA, setting the stage for Thursday’s moves to bring TPA back to life.