Fast-Track Trade Measure Clears Key Senate Hurdle
Two days after rejecting a measure to take up a bill granting President Obama fast-track trade authority, the Senate voted to move ahead with considering the legislation.
The vote was 65-33.
As Bill reported Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said an agreement had been reached to move forward on the vote. Bill wrote:
"The solution calls for separate votes on bills that Democrats had wanted to move as a single package on the floor, according to NPR's Ailsa Chang. Ailsa says the Senate will vote on a customs enforcement bill that includes Sen. Charles Schumer's safeguards aimed at reducing currency manipulation."
On Tuesday, the fast-track bill fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to avoid a filibuster. It was seen as a major rebuke to Obama. NPR's Brian Naylor reported at the time:
"Democrats — even some who support the trade agreement, like Ron Wyden of Oregon — voted to block the Senate from taking up the bill, because they want Republicans to agree to take up other trade-related measures."
The fast-track authority would pave the way for passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership — a complex trade agreement that supporters say will create new markets for U.S. goods. The deal's critics say it will hurt U.S. jobs.
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