WASHINGTON — The Senate passed another procedural hurdle on the controversial Trade Promotion Authority bill on Thursday morning, voting to cut off debate on the measure and moving it another step toward the finish line.
The Senate vote of 62 to 38 passed the 60 vote-threshold needed to move past a final procedural hurdle on TPA, which is seen as a critical component to completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal between the U.S. and 11 countries — a keystone to President Obama’s trader agenda.
The Senate is also working on a path forward to vote several amendments to the bill and hopes to have a final vote on TPA before it breaks for a weeklong Memorial Day recess.
It would then also need to pass the House, where there is both bipartisan support and opposition.
TPA allows Congress to set negotiating objectives and consultation requirements for the executive branch, but also limits lawmakers to an up or down vote on trade deals.