WASHINGTON — Although House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led her party’s charge to vote against the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a provision of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that Democrats normally support, the failure of TAA on the floor only delayed the final Congressional vote of TPA until next week not stop it completely.
TAA went down with 126 yeas to 302 nays while TPA passed the House with 219 yeas to 211 nays.
“While I’m a big supporter of TAA, if TAA slows down the Fast Track, I am to vote — I am prepared to vote against TAA because its defeat, sad to say is the only way to slow down fast track. Now I understand there will be manipulations here one way or another—what bill comes first — what can come up—what can’t, but the fact is this. The facts are these, actually, that the… if TAA fails the fast track bill is stopped.”
However, Pelosi pointed out in her remarks that Republican leadership told Democrats that if TAA did not pass, TPA would not be brought up for a floor vote.
“They will take up the vote, as they said they would not, they may take up the vote, but it doesn’t go any place. It’s stuck in the station and for that reason, sadly because the Senate has sent us the bill that way — connected, sadly, because if the fast track passes it needs the TAA trade adjustment assistance,” she said.
“Sadly, I would vote against the TAA. And I just wanted you to know where I was coming from on that. For these and other reasons, I will be voting today to slow down the fast track to get a better deal for the American people.”
Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Kevin Smith told The Daily Caller that GOP leadership never told members that if TAA failed that TPA would not be brought up for a vote.
On Thursday evening, House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions was asked if TAA was voted down if it would kill everything else.
“Of course it does. It does in the rule,” Sessions told reporters.
A Sessions spokeswoman explained that without the TAA provision in TPA, TPA has no teeth.
As a result of TAA failing to pass and TPA passing, as it stands now, TPA is stranded in the House. A motion to reconsider TAA was brought to the floor on Friday as well, so House members will have a second chance to bring TAA to a vote again. If the motion cannot be tabled, another vote on TAA happens next week.
In the meantime, Republicans are attempting to get Democrat support for the next TAA vote.
If the House can pass TAA, the whole trade deal passes and the House will not have vote on TPA again. However, if TAA goes down one more time, it would be stuck in the House again.
“There are other ways that they can bring TPA. They can do a whole bring a separate rule. But the only way that the bill has legs without voting again on TPA is if the motion to reconsider holds and they can get the votes over the weekend and revote on TAA only on Monday or Tuesday,” the Sessions spokeswoman said.
One Republican insider noted that the House could only pass a trade deal that is identical with what the Senate already passed.
“They either have to go to conference and come up with something that can pass the Senate and the House and a conference report or they go back with the exact same TAA bill next week and they say to the Democrats, ‘We’ve already got TPA. You have to vote for TAA now if you want it in it,’ which is not true. It’s a lie, because if they don’t vote for TAA, then it still has to go to conference.”