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Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 13:04

US House Speaker Ryan: Bid To Pass TPP This Year Would Fail


-- House Speaker Says Trade Accord Can't Pass in 2016
-- Speaker Ryan: Has Discussed Stop-Gap With McConnell
-- Ryan: Will Discuss Stop-Gap With House GOP Friday

WASHINGTON (MNI) - House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that any effort to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement this year in Congress would fail, adding it would be ill-advised to bring up the trade accord in 2016.

"We don't have the votes," Ryan said Thursday at a briefing, adding the administration has "got to fix it" in order for the TPP to pass.

Ryan did not cite specific provisions that must be renegotiated, but said a congressional vote this year would be folly.

"If you bring it up, it will go down," Ryan said of TPP.

On another matter, Ryan said he has had informal discussions with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about a fiscal year 2017 stop-gap spending bill.

Ryan declined to say if he backs McConnell's suggestion that the stop-gap spending bill fund the federal government until December 9.

Ryan said he will meet with House Republicans Friday to discuss the status of spending legislation.

Ryan said Congress should pass a funding bill this month that keeps the government operated when the 2017 fiscal year starts on October 1.

At a Wednesday briefing following a policy luncheon with Senate Republicans, McConnell said he has "started discussions" with the White House and Senate Democrats on the FY 2017 spending bill and would like to get an agreement quickly and bring it up in the Senate as early as next week.

So far Congress has passed none of the 12 annual spending bills that fund discretionary programs for FY 2017.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday he wants to reach an agreement with McConnell, adding the deal must include a spending package that had no "vexatious riders, ideological riders" attached to it.

Reid said he was "hopeful" that a spending agreement could be reached, adding "they (Republicans) can't close the government again."

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

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