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House GOP explores menu of tough options on trade

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on June 15, 2015 at 5:12 PM

Originally published on POLITICO on June 15, 2015 by Jake Sherman.

House Republican leaders are actively exploring how to move a critical piece of President Barack Obama’s trade package, just days after the vast majority of Democrats voted it down. But they have a big problem: there’s still no sign Democrats have changed their minds.

Trade Adjustment Assistance, a job-training and aid program, failed Friday after 144 Democrats voted against it in protest of Obama’s trade push. Under the procedural rules written for the trade package, both TAA, as it is called, and Trade Promotion Authority must pass before it can be sent to the White House for Obama’s signature. TPA, which Obama needs to complete the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, narrowly passed the House Friday.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team have a few options to try to reverse Friday’s outcome, but none of them are foolproof. And one dynamic remains constant: dozens of Democrats oppose Obama’s plan to craft a new trade agreement with the Pacific Rim and will vote against almost any legislation that furthers that agenda.

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