GOP Helps Obama Expand Trade Powers

The White House worked with the Senate’s Republican leader to undercut Democrats and end debate Tuesday on a bill to expand President Obama’s trade-negotiaton powers. Last month, House Democrats torpedoed Obama’s expanded trade authority by voting down part of the bill concerned with worker retraining. This month, Sen. Mitch McConnell broke off that worker-assistance portion to let the Senate vote on trade authority alone. “By Wednesday evening, legislation will most likely be on the president’s desk giving him the power to complete the trade accord,” The New York Times wrote of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, “knowing Congress could not amend or filibuster the final agreement. He can sign it whether or not the House passes worker-dislocation assistance.”