Washington Digest: House Cripples Obama Trade Deal
WASHINGTON — The House last week crippled President Obama’s trade agenda, splitting on key votes he needed to finalize a major deal with Asian nations.
Lawmakers voted against an element of Obama’s trade package that would have extended retraining and financial aid to U.S. workers who lose their job to overseas competitors. The Trade Adjustment Assistance program failed 126-302.
In the second key vote, House by 219-211 granted the president “fast track” authority on the deal. That means Congress could not amend the meticulously negotiated 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, only vote it up or down.