Wednesday: Congress to pass long-stalled FTAs

The House meets at noon to begin work on the trade bills. The rule for the four bills calls for several hours of debate on the legislation, but because the House debated the bills for about two hours Tuesday night, final votes are expected to be complete by about 7 p.m.

ADVERTISEMENT
The House is also expected to continue work on H.R. 2250, which would delay EPA rules on industrial boiler emissions; that could include final passage.

Members will also vote on H.R. 2433, which would extend veterans' jobless benefits. Democrats argued on Tuesday that this bill would pay for these benefits by maintaining higher fees on veterans looking to buy a home through the Veterans' Administration, so it is not clear this bill will pass under suspension.

The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to start debate on the trade bills, which are H.R. 3078 (Colombia), H.R. 3079 (Panama), and H.R. 3080 (South Korea). House Democrats on Tuesday made it clear that of all of these agreements, they have serious reservations only with the Colombia deal, given what they say is still elevated violence against union members in that country. Similar complaints are expected from Senate Democrats, although all three of the FTAs are expected to pass today.