Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday said he’s hopeful the House will pass legislation this month granting President Obama fast-track trade powers, but said the votes aren’t there yet . . .
Boehner acknowledged some in his party are opposing the fast-track legislation, known as Trade Promotion Authority or TPA, simply because they don’t trust Obama.
But the Speaker added: “This is not about the president; frankly, it’s about the country. It’s why I’ve worked with the president on a number of trade agreements over the course of his tenure and my tenure as Speaker,” including deals with Panama and South Korea.
Last month, the Senate passed TPA on a 62 to 37 vote. But the bill is facing a steeper climb in the House, where most Democrats are fiercely opposed. The bill would allow Obama to send to Congress the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal among 12 Pacific Rim nations, for an up-or-down vote. Under the fast-track rules, lawmakers would not be able to amend the trade deal . . .
Later Wednesday, Boehner and his entire leadership team hosted a 20-minute pep rally in the basement of the Capitol with more than 200 pro-trade allies, including representatives from trade associations, the agriculture and shipping industries, and manufacturers. (Read more from “Boehner Pushing Obamatrade, but Has He Read It?” HERE)