Senate votes to advance key trade bill sought by Obama

Barack Obama
(Image credit: Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

The Senate on Thursday cleared a procedural hurdle on a bill that would grant President Obama "fast track" authority to push through a massive trade bill, voting 62-38 to break a filibuster and end debate on the measure.

Earlier this month, Democrats blocked the bill from advancing over objections it did not include adequate labor protections. After voting on amendments, the Senate should be on track to pass the final bill as early as Friday.

The legislation would allow the president to submit to Congress the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a pending trade deal with 11 Pacific nations that would be the largest such pact since NAFTA — for an up or down vote with no amendments allowed.

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