U.S. Senate Agrees On Path To Fast Track Trade Vote

Members of the U.S. Senate have agreed on a path to avoid further filibusters and vote on a fast track trade bill.  The agreement comes just one day after Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid blocked a vote on the proposed bill and Republicans could not gather the 60 votes necessary to move on.
The deal means Senate Democrats will drop their demands to combine Trade Promotion Authority with Trade Adjustment Assistance and trade enforcement provisions along with a measure that would ensure duty free trade with some developing countries.  The vote on Trade Adjustment assistance will take place prior to the final vote on TPA.  Republicans previously had argued that Democrats were trying to force a “poison pill” of sorts by trying to put a currency manipulation provision in the trade enforcement bill thereby endangering passage of the entire works.
In the end, trade promotion authority is now expected to pass the Senate, although TPA as a whole is expected to face some obstacles once it gets to the House.
Votes on each individual bill are set to occur in the Senate starting at noon on Thursday, no firm vote schedule is set up in the House at this time.
The Trade Promotion Authority situation has attracted much interest in political circles as it has put the President in the unusual situation of being at odds with some of his largest supporters and also forced Republicans into defending a President they’ve struggled to agree with.