Friday, June 12, 2015

Major defeat in House for President Obama's trade authority: House Democrats kill trade agenda

On Friday, the House delivered a major defeat to Barack Obama's trade agenda by rejecting a jobs retraining program that was part of a Senate-approved trade package that would give the President Trade Promotion Authority.

The final vote was 302-126.

After TAA failed, the House approved fast-track legislation, better known as Trade Promotion Authority. The 219-211 vote was mainly for show, since enactment of TPA was contingent on approval of TAA.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest downplayed the defeat as a “procedural snafu.”

“To the surprise of very few, another procedural snafu has emerged. These kinds of entanglements are endemic to the House of Representatives," Earnest said.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued a brief statement after the House failed to pass legislation reauthorizing the TAA program.

“The outcome of today’s TAA vote was disappointing.  Republicans did our part, and we remain committed to free trade because it is critical to creating jobs and growing our economy.

"I’m pleased that a bipartisan House majority supported trade promotion authority.

"This is an opportunity for the Democratic Party to take stock and move forward in a constructive fashion on behalf of the American people,” Boehner said.

"The overwhelming vote today is a clear indication that it's time for Republicans to sit down with Democrats to negotiate a trade promotion authority bill that is a better deal for the American people.

"Looking forward, it is important we come together to achieve the best possible trade agenda to promote growth, create jobs and increase the paychecks of American workers," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.

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