McConnell Urges Senate Support on Trade Bill Vote Today
‘If we all keep working together and trusting each other, then by the end of the week the President will have TPA, TAA, and AGOA and Preferences on his desk — with Customs in the process of heading his way too.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding bipartisan trade legislation:
“Yesterday, the Senate’s top Democrat on trade announced his support for the bipartisan trade legislation we’ll vote on today.
“It adds to the renewed momentum we’re seeing for America’s workers.
“It’s showing that Democrats can join with Republicans to knock down unfair international barriers that discriminate against America’s Middle Class — barriers that for too long have prevented American workers from selling more of what they make, and American farmers from selling more of what they grow.
“It’s demonstrating that both parties can work together to strengthen America’s national security at home and America’s leadership abroad, instead of simply ceding the future and one of the world’s fastest-growing regions to Chinese aggression.
“And it’s proving that our friends can rally with us in support of 1.4 million additional jobs in our country — including over 18,000 in Kentucky alone — as one study estimates new trade agreements with Europe and the Pacific could support.
“These are the reasons a bill is gaining steam that would help advance all of these objectives — a bill that would enhance Congress’ role in the trade process while ensuring Presidents of either party have the necessary tools to secure strong, enforceable trade agreements.
“That’s the bipartisan trade bill before us today.
“It passed the Finance Committee with strong bipartisan support in April.
“It passed the full Senate with strong bipartisan support in May.
“It just passed the House with backing from across the political spectrum too, gaining the support of everyone from Chairman Ryan and Representative Hensarling on one side to Representative Kind on the other.
“Now it’s time for the next step.
“I urge every colleague to vote for cloture on this bipartisan trade bill today.
“That will open the way for final passage of TPA tomorrow.
“It will open the way for final passage of TAA and the AGOA and Preferences measure the following day too.
“Earlier this morning, Speaker Boehner reaffirmed his commitment to taking up TAA once it passes the Senate.
“He stated his desire to see both TAA and TPA on the President's desk by week's end.
“And he underlined the House's readiness to go to conference on the Customs bill.
“Speaker Boehner is clearly committed to building trust across the aisle on this issue.
“I am as well.
“That’s why I just moved to go to conference on the Customs bill.
“So this is where we are.
“Let’s vote today to move ahead on TPA. Then we can vote to move ahead on TAA and AGOA and Preferences. And then we can vote to move ahead on Customs.
“If we all keep working together and trusting each other, then by the end of the week the President will have TPA, TAA, and AGOA and Preferences on his desk — with Customs in the process of heading his way too.
“Today is a big vote. It sets in motion the completion of a project we set out on months ago, completing work on all 4 of the bills reported by the Finance Committee. That is what my friends on the other side have said they wanted, and that is what can be achieved by continuing to work together.”
Related Issues: Trade Promotion Authority, TPP