McConnell Optimistic Trade Bills Will Reach President’s Desk This Week
‘It means that, with continued bipartisan cooperation, we can ensure TPA, TAA, and AGOA reach the President’s desk this week — and it means we can ensure the Customs bill is placed on a path to swift approval too.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor urging continued bipartisan cooperation on trade:
“When it comes to keeping the American people safe, there are many things Congress can do.
“Encouraging reform at the TSA is one important step. But so is leading on trade.
“President Obama’s own Secretary of Defense recently said that the trade legislation before us was as important to him ‘as another aircraft carrier.’ But, he cautioned, ‘Time’s running out … [to] cement our influence and leadership in the fastest-growing region in the world.’
“We also know how critical this legislation is to lifting up American workers, American wages, and the American economy too.
“We shouldn’t let this opportunity for a significant bipartisan achievement slip past us. If we can continue working together in a spirit of trust, and if we simply vote the same way we just did a couple weeks ago, we won’t.
“Now I know how important it is, particularly for my friends on the other side of the aisle, to get both TPA and TAA done. That linkage has been acknowledged from the beginning of this process. It’s why I set in motion a process last week — filing cloture on the vehicles for both TPA and TAA so that we get one done followed immediately by the other — that will put both pieces of legislation on the President’s desk before the July 4th state work period.
“I didn’t want anyone to think that we were getting TPA done this week, with a promise to get TAA done at some later undefined point. The process this week is clear. We will vote on TPA, and then we will vote on TAA.
“So here’s how that will look.
“Tomorrow, we’ll begin the process of approving TPA.
“The next day, we’ll begin the process of approving TAA along with the AGOA and Preferences measure.
“And before the week is out, I intend to go to conference on the Customs bill. This is a bill with broad bipartisan support. Members on both sides want to get it done. And we are going to formally begin the process to complete our work on the Customs bill. I am committed to concluding work on that conference as quickly as possible. I’m sure members on both sides will hold us to that commitment.
“So what does this all mean?
“It means that, with continued bipartisan cooperation, we can ensure TPA, TAA, and AGOA reach the President’s desk this week — and it means we can ensure the Customs bill is placed on a path to swift approval too.
“It was always the goal to ensure these bills passed Congress in the end. It remains the bipartisan goal today.
“We’re now on the verge of achieving it.
“With just a little more trust, a little more cooperation, and simply voting consistently, we’ll get there.”
Related Issues: Middle Class, Trade Promotion Authority, Jobs, Economy, TPP, Restoring the Senate, Back to Work