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Friday, June 12, 2015 - 14:33

US House Passes TPA, But Bill Is Blocked Til House Passes TAA


--House Confuses World And Itself With Baffling Trade Votes
--House Passes TPA, But Bill Can't Advance Till TAA Passes

WASHINGTON (MNI) - In a series of votes Friday, the House managed to confuse itself and the world and throw the nation's trade agenda into a state of near chaos.

The House voted narrowly, 219 to 211, to approve legislation renewing Trade Promotion Authority.

However before that vote, the House also voted to reject, on a 126-to-302 vote, a separate bill to renew the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

Under the terms of the package of rules approved Thursday evening, the House needed to pass both of those bills for the entire package to advance.

Dozens of House Democrats who usually support TAA voted against it Friday as a tactical move to skuttle TPA.

After the two votes, House Speaker John Boehner offered a motion for the House to vote again next week on the TAA bill.

A House GOP staffer told MNI that he expects that House vote to occur Tuesday.

President Barack Obama has been a vocal supporter of TPA and TAA and lobbied Democrats aggressively on trade. He even met with all House Democrats in the Capitol several hours before the votes.

Obama has said TPA is needed in order for the administration to complete several key free trade agreements currently in the final stages of negotiation including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

After the House votes, White House press spokesman Josh Earnest urged Democrats to support the TAA bill when it comes up again in the House.

--MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email: jshaw@mni-news.com

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