- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 3, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Sunday that President Obama will need Hillary Clinton’s help to get skeptical Democrats to back a major free trade deal he seeks.

But right now, Mrs. Clinton is willfully putting the president in a difficult political position, the Ohio Republican added.

Hillary Clinton was for trade promotion authority. Hillary Clinton is for the trade bill with the Asians. She just won’t say so,” Mr. Boehner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The fact is the president needs her help to get Democratic votes in the House and Senate to get this passed.”

Mr. Obama wants Congress to grant him trade promotion authority, which would allow him to negotiate free trade deals and then submit them to Congress for a simple up-or-down vote, rather than allowing lawmakers to make major changes. With such authority, the president likely could finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade proposal involving nearly a dozen Pacific Rim nations.

But many Democrats oppose Mr. Obama on trade and fear the proposed deals would hurt the U.S. economy and lead to job losses.

Mr. Boehner said Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, could help sway Democrats to the president’s side.

“She can’t sit on the sidelines and let the president swing in the wind here,” he said.

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