Senate moves forward on TPA bill |

Senate moves forward on TPA bill

The Senate voted 62 to 38 May 21, to invoke cloture and begin debate on the bill to grant President Barack Obama trade promotion authority and reauthorize trade adjustment assistance, but completion of the measure could take until Friday.

The motion that passed will allow consideration of an amendment sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. to extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank, Washington Trade Daily reported, but there are other amendments also under consideration.

The motion allows 30 hours of debate, but after the vote senators gathered in a small groups on and off the Senate floor in what appeared to be an attempt to come to agreements to limit the number of amendments and speed up the process.

Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the vote "shows that the U.S. Senate is ready to turn the page on the trade policy of the 1990s and NAFTA-style trade agreements."

"Our legislation ensures new transparency for all trade deals, opens the door to expanding U.S. exports and American jobs, and makes sure that our trade partners don't give short shrift to crucial issues like the environment, labor and human rights," Wyden said. "I'm working to ensure the Senate votes on as many amendments as possible and passes this bill into law."

–The Hagstrom Report