Obama Loses Trade Deal
House Democrats delivered a stunning defeat to President Obama by rejecting his trade deal by the vote of 162-302. The vote was a contrast to the Senate's which voted 62-37 in favor of the trade deal in May. The president tried to save the deal by traveling to Capitol Hill to personally lobby his fellow democrats. Politico reports that the president spent 45 minutes speaking directly to lawmakers.
The insider web site described the closed door meeting. 'The meeting was a big, risky moment for the president and his second-term agenda, as a package of trade bills is stalled because of Democratic opposition. The president needs to convince Democrats to back a measure, known as Trade Adjustment Assistance, that would provide aid and retraining to workers who lose their jobs due to trade agreements. The aid legislation, which is in serious jeopardy, must pass before the House can vote on the central Trade Promotion Authority legislation. That would give Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership.'
House Leadership was not convinced by the president's argument. This was the first major defeat for the president on a few fronts. Speculation now begins on how effective the administration will be in passing upcoming legislation since they failed to rally members of their own party to back the president's plan.
The trade bill was supported by republicans who had campaigned against Obama. White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest told the press "we were pleased to see a bipartisan effort in the House to support a trade deal. I feel a little like Yogi Berra, it's deju vu all over again."