An In-Depth Look at Why the TPA is Stymied in the House


At this current time, the bill granting President Obama, called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), is dead in the House of Representatives. Just as the legislation was minutes away from coming up for a vote on Friday, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi performed her classic bait and switch move. Despite having hammered out an agreement with GOP leaders to advance a companion bill to TPA deemed as crucial to win over Democrat support, the feisty San Francisco congresswoman withdrew her support and staged a successful revolt against both the companion bill and TPA. The congresswoman pulled the same stunt in December with the CROMNIBUS bill and nearly derailed that legislation after having spent months crafting it with GOP leaders.

The issue is now how to overcome the Democrat Party’s opposition and win passage of TPA. Publicly, House GOP leaders say there are a number of options on the table. However, if that were true, the legislation would not have collapsed on Friday. Even the re-vote scheduled for Tuesday has now been pushed back to the end of July with no exact date scheduled.

Democrat opposition to TPA is ideological. There is no way to break the impasse without making changes to TPA that will require a new vote in the Senate. Bear in mind, Senate Democrats are as eager to derail TPA in that chamber as are House Democrats says Igor Cornelsen on his personal website. Perhaps the GOP can add additional measures in the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) companion bill to TPA, but most Republicans do not support the bill as it currently stands. One issue not being addressed is how to win over the Tea Party’s support. If Tea Party congressmen in the House were to back TPA, the bill would get passed.

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