- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

White House officials Tuesday would not give a firm answer on whether President Obama would sign Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) without also receiving the other pieces of his trade agenda and said it’s up to Republican leaders on Capitol Hill to get the full package past the finish line.

“It is the president’s intent to sign both of these pieces of legislation into law,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, referring to the TPA bill that is set to clear the Senate by Wednesday and a separate bill providing assistance to displaced workers.

The latter measure — known as Trade Adjustment Assistance — derailed Mr. Obama’s trade agenda earlier this month when House Democrats blocked the bill. Virtually all Democrats support assistance for displaced workers but voted against the bill to block TPA, which they fear could harm American workers.

The worker assistance bill soon will come up for a second vote in the House, and Mr. Earnest said it’s up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John A. Boehner to ensure it passes.

“We continue to count on Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner to make good on their public commitment to give the bipartisan majorities we know exist in the House and Senate the opportunity to vote on Trade Adjustment Assistance,” he said.


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