The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to extend the deadline for a second vote on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), whose failure last week has effectively halted ObamaTrade.
Republican Senator John Thune said delays were not helping the TPP, which must get past Congress this year to avoid being bogged down in the U.S. 2016 presidential elections.
“The longer this hangs out there, the harder it becomes and the more it complicates passage of TPP,” Thune told reporters.
One option that remains to press ahead with ObamaTrade would be for the house to send the legislation back to the senate without TAA, a move that still may not work as democratic support would likely wither away and “fast track” narrowly passed with TAA attached.
Funding for TAA in its present form runs out in September and democrats are loathe to see the program disintegrate. House speaker John Boehner (OH-R) has indicated that the next vote for TAA will be the last chance to save the program during this legislative year, pushing democrats into a difficult decision–aide in killing a pet program or supporting fast tracking ObamaTrade.
It will be interesting to see if the unions and special-interest groups who have been pushing the hardest to stop ObamaTrade encourage making this sacrifice.
In the meantime, a great deal of negotiations will be taking place to try and flip democratic votes for TAA.[Reuters]