Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellCompromise is the key to moving forward after Trump's first 100 days Juan Williams: Trump's 100 days wound GOP Judd Gregg: Trump gets his sea legs MORE (R-Ky.) appeared to close the door Thursday on the Senate taking up the Obama administration's signature Asia-Pacific trade deal during what's left of the president's term.
"The current agreement, the Trans-Pacific [Partnership], which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year," McConnell said at the Kentucky State Farm Bureau breakfast Thursday.
But McConnell said that while the trade agreement won't get approved in its current form, it could pass next year with some changes.
"It will still be around. It can be massaged, changed, worked on during the next administration," he said.
Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent want independent Russia probe Trump’s first 100 days anything but presidential Going green — why environmental protection is both a business and legislative concern MORE and Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWhite House official Gorka walks out of 'fake news' event Q&A Trump faults DNC in Russian email hacks Week ahead: US raises pressure on WikiLeaks MORE have both come out against the agreement. The trade fight has also spilled over into the battle for the Senate as Republicans defend 24 Senate seats, with vulnerable GOP Sens. Rob PortmanRob PortmanFive things to know about Trump's steel order Mexico: Recent deportations 'a violation' of US immigration rules EPA union asks Pruitt for meeting over talk of closing office MORE (Ohio) and Pat Toomey (Pa.) coming out against the deal.
McConnell helped spearhead the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) through the Senate last year. The law allows any future trade deal to be fast-tracked through Congress without changes. The Kentucky Republican joked Thursday that passing the TPA was a "rather unusual experience."
"I was aligned with Barack ObamaBarack ObamaTrump jokes that Haley could 'easily be replaced' Obama's UN envoy apologizes for not recognizing Armenian mass killings as genocide Trump’s first 100 days anything but presidential MORE against [Sen.] Harry ReidHarry ReidWeek ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup on ObamaCare MORE [D-Nev.] and [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.]," he said. "Almost an out-of-body experience, now that I think about it."
Obama has pledged to push the deal until he leaves office, including sending a drafting document to lawmakers earlier this month, but it has lost momentum on Capitol Hill.
McConnell previously said it was unlikely the deal would get a vote, and Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanTrump: GOP health plan will bring 'real healthcare' and 'tumbling' premiums Congress, the time is now for tax reform to get our economy moving Pelosi: 'Of course' Dems can be against abortion MORE (R-Wis.) has said the agreement doesn't have the votes to pass the House. Top Senate Democrats are also vocal opponents.