House revives Obama's trade agenda, but Senate vote awaits

AP News
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Posted: Jun 18, 2015 12:32 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has revived President Barack Obama's embattled trade agenda. But a potentially tough Senate battle awaits.

The House voted 218 to 208 Thursday to grant Obama "fast track" authority to send Congress trade agreements it can reject or ratify but not change.

The Republican-driven vote marks a dramatic turnabout from last week's stunning setback dealt to Obama by House Democrats. This time fast track was separated from another matter that the Democrats had used to scuttle the whole package.

The GOP-controlled Senate could take up the issue next week. The bill needs help from about a dozen Democrats. They want assurance that Congress also will renew federal aid for workers displaced by international trade.

Unions strongly oppose fast track. Obama says U.S. producers need it.