The minority leader’s remarks were designed to welcome South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who is scheduled to speak to a joint session of Congress at 4 p.m. on Thursday, to the U.S. less than a day after Congress cleared a historic free-trade agreement with the Southeast Asian democracy.

“The South Korean free trade agreement we passed last night overwhelmingly on a bipartisan basis will only make our two economies stronger,” said McConnell, recognizing the achievement.

Senators will begin make their way to the House from the Senate chamber at about 3:40 p.m. on Thursday.