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House Republicans to bring a "clean" Fast Track bill to the floor TOMORROW (Thursday)


WASHINGTON -- House Republicans plan to breathe new life into President Barack Obama's trade agenda on Thursday by bringing up a stand-alone bill to give the president expedited authority to speed major trade deals through Congress.

Copy edit: "plan to breathe new life" should read "breathe unlife." TPP is a zombie.

More from Roll Call:

Updated: 5:51 p.m. The House is set to vote Thursday on Trade Promotion Authority, with GOP leaders employing procedural maneuvers and indirect promises to make sure the bill eventually gets signed into law.

Pro-trade lawmakers are moving ahead with a vote on TPA without Trade Adjustment Assistance, which aids U.S. workers displaced by international trade.

The success of their plan hinges on whether Democrats who voted for TPA will still support that measure without immediate certainty they’ll also get TAA, which trade opponents voted down on June 12 to derail the entire package.

“The only legislative strategy that the president will support is a strategy that results in both TPA and TAA coming to his desk,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

Well, that's alright then. I mean, it's Obama. So his word is good. And the sausage-making:

The 28 House Democrats who voted for TPA last week are important to making sure the do-over vote is successful in their chamber, but the key is Senate Democrats.

The TPA bill cleared the Senate 62-37, with 14 Democrats voting “yes.” That bill included TAA, which was important to Democrats, and even some Republicans such as Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. The question for the Senate is whether the assurances that TAA will accompany TPA are direct enough, or whether they’re too direct.

TAA expires in September, and even though it’s a major risk for Democrats to continue blocking reauthorization of a program they support, doing so could still stymie the trade legislation.

Republicans are hoping the House passes TPA once again, sends it over to the Senate, and then, once the Senate proves the votes are there, the House could simply pass the TAA bill already awaiting action.

Or, the Senate could follow through on the standalone TPA bill, and lawmakers could address TAA in another separate bill. The idea is that once Democrats sense the train is leaving the station on TAA, they’ll hop aboard to reauthorize a program which they overwhelmingly favor.

It’s just a matter of how well the House and Senate can work together, and how devoted the contingent of 157 House Democrats are to stopping TPA.

Dunno. It seems like the pro-TPP forces are saying worse is better. Why are Democrats going to vote for TPA without TAA, when the won't vote for TPA with TAA? And conversely for Republicans. It just seems the Republican leadership's thinks that Congress Critters are going to believe that things are less important than TPA that those same critters have already said are more important.

No, I won't drink my milk if I have to eat spinach."

"OK, will you drink your milk after you eat your spinach?"

How does that work?

UPDATE Adding, I forgot this part:

"And if I give you some sausage?"

But I haven't seen a Christmas tree bill, like Reid's for TARP. So, I dunno....

No votes yet


Submitted by lambert on

Truly, these are the End Times....

"AGOA is too important to be used as a bargaining chip to pass unrelated trade legislation," the lawmakers wrote in Wednesday's letter.

Since the GOP does not currently have the votes to pass TAA, Republican leaders hope to win over Democrats by combining TAA with the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a trade package that benefits sub-Saharan African countries. The goal is to sweeten the pot for members of the Congressional Black Caucus who support AGOA.

Man, winning over the CBC with an African trade pact? I dunno.... I mean, couldn't they come up with something domestic?!