House GOP has 'options' on trade

House Republicans have made no decisions on how to move a trade package forward following a colossal defeat on the floor at the end of last week.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) repeatedly dodged questions on Monday about the GOP’s next steps, even as he said time is running out.

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“I think the longer something like this sits out there, the harder it is to bring it back,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said there are “options” for the House to consider but declined to elaborate. House GOP leaders will meet later Monday afternoon to assess how they might move forward.

The House on Friday approved fast-track authority for President Obama but voted down a separate measure that grants aid to workers displaced by trade. Both parts of the package must be approved to send the bill to the White House so that Obama could sign it into law.

Members of both parties voted against the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, including scores of Democrats who saw killing it as the only way to stop fast-track. Democrats voted against TAA despite personal pleas from Obama.

House Republicans have discussed bringing the bill up for another vote Tuesday, but few think the result would be different. Only 40 Democrats on Friday backed TAA, which many Republicans also oppose because they see it as an unnecessary program.

“The best option right now, the Democrats come to their senses and be able to move TAA,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy added that he was “disappointed” and “confused” by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to oppose the trade package and defy Obama.

Pelosi informed Obama of her decision shortly before Friday's votes after staying quiet for weeks about her position.

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