Today the Senate voted to approve the “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority bill.

Yesterday’s test vote revealed that today’s final vote was likely to swing in favor of the controversial procedural bill, which has both hardline conservatives and pro-union Democrats at odds with an unlikely bipartisan coalition.

Now, the trade debate will head back over to the House, where Democrats who were successful last week in blocking fast track’s passage will have to decide whether or not they will switch gears and support the TAA companion legislation.

Votes on the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill will be taken separately, forcing Democrats to bank on promises from Congressional leadership that the supplemental aid package will indeed come up for a vote. Earlier this month, Dems opposed to the trade legislation shot down TAA in an effort to stall passage of fast track trade authority in the House.


Today the Senate also advanced a bill that combines both TAA and African trade provisions. Once this bill passes the Senate (the cloture motion passed with over 70 votes, so it’s reasonable to assume the final vote will swing in the bill’s favor), it will head to the House, where it is also expected to pass.


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