WASHINGTON — The Senate failed to advance presidential Trade Promotion Authority on Tuesday, dealing at least a temporary setback to President Obama and leaving his trade agenda in limbo.
A high-stakes political drama on Capitol Hill came to a head when members of the President’s own party helped defeat a move to advance TPA. The Senate could only muster 52 of the 60 votes to get past a procedural step to begin debate on TPA.
A large bloc of Democrats, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) who helped craft a bipartisan compromise on TPA, voted against advancing it. The Democrats said they opposed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R., Ky.) decision not to combine two bills—a trade preference bill and a customs trade enforcement bill – with TPA.