Thirty-four Republicans voted against the rule, while eight Democrats backed it.
A handful of pro-trade Democrats withheld their votes, watching the tally closely from the floor. Then, when it was apparent Republicans would not be able to pass the typically partisan measure on its own, they threw their votes in favor all at once.
The tight vote foreshadows the challenge GOP leaders will face Friday, when the House votes on two critical pieces of Obama’s trade agenda: fast-track authority and a separate bill offering help to workers displaced by trade.
GOP opposition to the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, as well as to fast-track, led Republicans to oppose their party’s rule. (Read more from “Trade Bill Survives Scare” HERE)
Jeff Sessions Issues Final ‘Critical Alert’: Obama Trade Just Like Amnesty, Obamacare
By Matthew Boyle. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, is issuing one final clarion call against Obamatrade as the House readies to vote on the matter on Friday.
Sessions’ final “critical alert,” one of several he’s issued throughout the Obamatrade process, shows House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan has been engaged in deception as he attempts to guide Obamatrade’s passage through the House.
“Promoters of fast-track executive authority have relied on semantic obfuscation in an effort to deny the obvious: the President’s top priority is obtaining fast-track authority because he knows it will expand his powers and allow him to cement his legacy through the formation of a new political and economic union,” Sessions said.
If, as promoters amazingly suggest, the President had more powers without fast-track, he would veto it. The authority granted in “Trade Promotion Authority” is authority transferred from Congress to the Executive and, ultimately, to international bureaucrats. The entire purpose of fast-track is for Congress to surrender its power to the Executive for six years. Legislative concessions include: control over the content of legislation, the power to fully consider that legislation on the floor, the power to keep debate open until Senate cloture is invoked, and the constitutional requirement that treaties receive a two-thirds vote. Legislation cannot even be amended.
It’s unclear what will happen when it does come up for a vote on Friday in the House, but one thing is absolutely certain: Pass or fail, Ryan’s credibility on the right is shot. What’s more, there’s likely to be a conservative grassroots rebellion against establishment Republicans in Washington that may dwarf the one Obamacare caused back in 2010. (Read more from “Jeff Sessions Issues Final ‘Critical Alert’: Obama Trade Just Like Amnesty, Obamacare” HERE)