Congress Gives President Obama Fast-Track Authority for Trade Deals

June 24, 2015

A contentious trade bill passed the U.S. Senate on Wednesday and is headed to the president’s desk.

The Senate voted 60-38 to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which gives trade deals a “fast track” through Congress where lawmakers would only get an up-or-down vote without being able to add amendments.

TPA passed the House in a stand-alone bill last week by a 218-208 vote.

Most Democrats in both chambers opposed TPA because of concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently under negotiation, while Republican lawmakers sided with President Obama.

Critics such as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) argue that TPP will…