Support President Obama’s trade agenda — get a ticket to an elegant state dinner at the White House.
Five congressional Democrats who have pledged their support for trade promotion authority legislation will don their black-tie best Tuesday night at a dinner for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Reps. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerDemocrats raise questions about Trump’s mental health Dem launches panel to review presidential removal procedures 40 House Dems to urge Trump to suspend Flynn MORE (Ore.) and Ron KindRon KindOvernight Tech: House weighs laws for driverless cars | Dems hit FCC chief on broadband | A new online fundraising tool | Microsoft calls for a 'digital Geneva Convention' House Dems rip FCC chief over internet subsidy program Saving for college? Start early and tell Congress to support this bill. MORE (Wis.), the only two Democrats to vote last week to approve fast-track legislation in the House Ways and Means Committee, are slated to attend the evening’s lavish festivities.
The authors of a bipartisan fast-track compromise — Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenSenate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order DNI confirmation hearing expected on Senate return Senate confirms Mnuchin as Treasury secretary MORE (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Hatch7 key players in the GOP's border tax fight Public lands dispute costs Utah a major trade show Overnight Tech: GOP chairman to propose high-skilled visa overhaul | Zuckerberg's 5,700 word letter | Tech lobbies gear up ahead of internet fight MORE (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul RyanPaul Ryan7 key players in the GOP's border tax fight Angst in GOP over Trump's trade agenda The Trump Administration has definitely not drained the swamp MORE (R-Wis.) — will also hobnob in the East Room.
They will be joined by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a leader in the bipartisan congressional Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) caucus he helped launch in 2013, as well as Sen. Tom CarperTom CarperSenate advances Trump's Commerce pick Warren: Trump's EPA pick the 'attorney general for Exxon' Overnight Energy: EPA pick Pruitt set for Friday vote | Dems plan all-night protest | Trump nixes Obama coal mining rule MORE (D-Del.), a member of the Finance panel who was one of seven Democrats to back a fast-track bill last week in committee.
The United States and Japan are in talks with 10 other nations on the TPP, which spans from Latin America to the Pacific Rim and represents about 40 percent of global growth.
Fast-track legislation is not only expected to speed trade deals through Congress but expedite completion of the long-awaited TPP agreement.
Abe and Obama each vowed Tuesday to push for conclusion of the bilateral agreement between their two countries as well as the broader trade deal.
“Japan and the United States — or with President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaWhite House adds to report on Trump's Sunday golf game British Parliament members hold heated debate over Trump visit What Trump can learn from Reagan on Presidents' Day MORE and myself — we want to exert leadership to bring about an early conclusion of the TPP,” Abe said during remarks earlier in the day.
Abe will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
Several other Democrats — some of whom have yet to show their hand on fast-track — will be in attendance as well.
Notably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said last week that “I’m not telling you how I'm voting on anything because we don't have anything to vote on yet,” will attend with her husband, Paul.
Pelosi has criticized the fast-track legislation for taking too much power from Congress to influence the trade debate.