Senate GOP shoots down unanimous consent request on trade, healthcare tax credits

But Brown countered that the money should be continued to be spent, and the economy stimulated.

"It's a winner for business, it's a winner for workers, it's a winner for the economy," said Brown prior to Barrasso's objection. "I hope Republicans don't object to this."

Barrasso also shot down a request from Casey to extend the provisions for four months until Mother's Day.

The senators engaged in several minute of colloquy and then Barrasso offered his own UC provision on extending the trade agreements without the additional stimulus spending.

Brown objected to that UC request.

The House had scheduled a Tuesday vote on TAA but that was postponed after conservative Republicans raised several issues with the measure including that "these programs were either created or greatly expanded by Democrats 'stimulus.' "

The Republican Study Committee said the bill would cost $620 million for the remainder of 2011 and $6.5 billion over 10 years and that money would be better spent on deficit reduction, according to a policy analysis. 

Letting the provisions expire could provide Republicans with more leverage for the Obama administration to send all three pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia to Congress for approval. The South Korean agreement is expected to reach Capitol Hill within the next few weeks, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told the Ways and Means panel on Wednesday. 

The Colombia and Panama FTAs are locked up in negotiations but Kirk said they are progressing. 

Cross-posted from the Senate Floor Action blog. 

Vicki Needham contributed to this report.