House One Step Closer to Granting Obama ‘Fast-Track’ Authority

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Congress has inched closer to granting President Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate trade deals like the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Thursday morning the House approved the procedural motion that will see Trade Promotion Authority voted on later in the day.

The rule passed 244-181.

The House is barreling toward a TPA vote after failing to achieve “fast-track” last week when House Democrats voted en mass against the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which was tied to the TPA, as a way to scuttle the trade effort.

Republican leadership and the White House settled on a strategy this week to split up the TPA and TAA, a strategy that will see the effort again return to the Senate.

Wednesday evening House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) affirmed their commitment to passing both bills.

“We are committed to ensuring both TPA and [Trade Adjustment Assistance] get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the President for signature,” the pair said in a joint statement.

“And it is our intent to have a conference on the customs bill and complete that in a timely manner so that the President can sign it into law,” they added.


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