Democrats foil President Obama on trade

Democrats aren’t backing down, and they weren’t wooed just because President Obama went to Capitol Hill and made a last-ditch effort to save his trade deal. The House overwhelmingly voted against Trade Adjustment Assistance, legislation needed to move the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) forward.

Lawmakers easily defeated a measure to help workers displaced by free trade known as Trade Adjustment Assistance. The aid package needed to pass in order to enact companion legislation that would give Obama fast-track trade authority to complete the sweeping, 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

The vote on the TAA bill was 126-302.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, after being quiet for some time over the trade deal, took the House floor and urged against the legislation. There is still some hope for ObamaTrade, as it is possible the House takes up another vote next week. The White House is optimistic.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest downplayed the defeat as a “procedural snafu,” comparing it to the Senate’s initial rejection of the legislation before it was later adopted.

“To the surprise of very few, another procedural snafu has emerged,’’ Earnest told reporters. “These kinds of entanglements are endemic to the House of Representatives.’’