On Tuesday, the Senate is holding a crucial procedural vote on granting President Obama fast-track trade authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. If 60 senators vote in favor of the bill, it will almost certainly pass in the Senate on Wednesday, sending it to Obama's desk.
On May 21, 62 senators, including 14 Democrats, voted for a bill that combined fast-track authority and a measure to help U.S. workers displace by trade. When House Democrats sank that bill, House Republicans voted in the stand-alone fast-track bill now up for a vote in the Senate. The key on Tuesday is to keep enough Democrats on board, which requires them to trust the Republican leaders of the House and Senate to help push through the workers' aid measure, to be attached to a popular African trade extension bill.
"We shouldn't let this opportunity for a significant bipartisan achievement slip past us," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told his Senate colleagues on Monday. "If we can continue working together in a spirit of trust and if we simply vote the same way we did a couple of weeks ago — just vote the same way we did a couple of weeks ago — we won't miss this opportunity."
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